Personnel: Harry Aponte (piano, keyboards); Carlitos García, Efraín Dávila, Luis Marin (piano); Gerardo Rivas, Luisito Quintero (congas); Rafael "Tito" De Garcia, Carmelo Alvarez (bongos).
The Uncle Sam look that Victor Manuelle gives on the cover of Busco un Pueblo is a definite "I Want You" moment, but despite any possible fantasies, the fine print probably says "...to Join the Salsa Movement" instead of that carnal thing you're thinking. Even if there's still plenty of sex, sexiness, romance, and passion to be had, Busco un Pueblo is driven by the "one people" bit of its title, and most everything here is designed to draw Latin pop fans to the salsa side of the scene. R&B kids Voltio and Jowell & Randy add vocals to "Ella Lo Que Quiere Es Salsa," while "Si Tú Me Besas" comes with a spicy backbeat/soaring melody, laying the groundwork for the possible future category of salsa power ballad. Elsewhere, there are turns of phrase and layers of keyboards that suggest Manuelle is well of aware of Latin pop radio and the Marc Anthony catalog, and when it's all presented over that familiar, crisp salsa flavor, it's obvious that he's an exciting genre loyalist, not a stale genre purist. ~ David Jeffries
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