After achieving superstardom with Brazilian band So Pra Contrariar, Alexandre Pires hopes to do the same in Spanish, beginning with this, his first full-length disc in that language (although he has i

After achieving superstardom with Brazilian band So Pra Contrariar, Alexandre Pires hopes to do the same in Spanish, beginning with this, his first full-length disc in that language (although he has included Spanish tracks on previous albums). Alexandre Pires is a collection of mostly ballads in the classic tradition of the great Latin balladeers of the '70s. Accompaniments are streamlined, with pared-down choruses and strings fully showing off singularly well-crafted melodies (most were written by Estéfano expressly for the artist) and Pires' trademark baritone, understated yet compelling. There's the slightest of Portuguese inflections in the vocals that reminds one of Roberto Carlos (most of the album is stylistically reminiscent of Carlos), but beyond that, Pires' singing is heartfelt, disarmingly real, effortlessly seductive ("Necesidad" and "Usted se me Llevó la Vida" are stand-outs). The overall effect is that of a lover whispering sweet nothings into your ear.—LC

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