Bonito

Spanish group Jarabe de Palo's debut on Warner (after a long stint on Virgin/EMI) is simply—and optimistically—titled Bonito (Pretty).

Spanish group Jarabe de Palo's debut on Warner (after a long stint on Virgin/EMI) is simply—and optimistically—titled Bonito (Pretty). And it is pretty, from the title song to the entire sunny disposition of the 15 tracks here, many unabashed celebrations of life. But Bonito is too light a word to describe this gorgeous album, featuring some of the most well-crafted songs lead singer Pau Donés has turned out in years. Eminently international, Bonito mixes Spanish elements freely with lots of Brazilian touches—the sertaneja accordion in the catchy "Yin Yang" is a standout—and goes out on a limb with the delicious "Las Cruces de Tijuana," a kind of Spanish corrido, and "Cambia la Piel," a salsa track with aggressive piano and percussion improvisation. This is the kind of album that could boost sales in the U.S. Latin market, with the proper marketing/promotional budget behind it.—LC