Miguel Ríos y Las Estrellas del Rock Latino

Pairing veteran Spanish rocker Miguel Ríos with nine of Latin rock's biggest stars for an album of duets is really a no-brainer, especially when a list of songs already popularized by those art

Pairing veteran Spanish rocker Miguel Ríos with nine of Latin rock's biggest stars for an album of duets is really a no-brainer, especially when a list of songs already popularized by those artists is added to the equation. It seems a facile formula for success, but coming from Ríos, an icon with nearly 40 years of recording behind him, it's not only acceptable but also worth celebrating. Rather than reinventing the wheel here, Ríos has remained basically faithful to the original interpretations, making them more thoughtful in pace and far more acoustic in feel. Most tracks alternate vocals and finally come together in harmony for only handfuls of phrases, but this works when dealing with distinctive voices. Some songs gain, notably Aterciopelados' "Maligno," which flows with more ease than the original yet manages to sound equally tortured, and Charly García's exultant "Yo no Quiero Volverme Tan Loco." And Ríos' own "Corren Tiempos Perros," a dissatisfied look at the new millennium, opens the album by tempering preachiness with funk.—LC