Influencia

On his first album for EMI, Argentine rock legend Charly García goes slightly retro, titling the disc after the wistful Todd Rungren track "Influenza," which García performs in the origi

On his first album for EMI, Argentine rock legend Charly García goes slightly retro, titling the disc after the wistful Todd Rungren track "Influenza," which García performs in the original English version and in his own Spanish rendition. It's an appropriate point of departure for a melodic, beautiful album that unfolds cinematically and coherently, down to the acoustic and remixed versions of "I'm Not in Love," a rare example of how restructurings of the same song can actually make musical sense. García is happy to tout his stylistic influences—from the Beatles to the gospel version of the single "Tu Vicio"—something he does both at the service of the songs as much as a creative exercise. The final results sound traditional—including the simple yet lovely "Pelicula Sordomuda," a short piece for piano solo—when compared to more recent Latin rock releases. But, ironically, this serves as a potent reminder that perhaps tradition may be the most radical solution in encouraging active—and not passive—listening. A real treasure.—LC