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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Corazón Libre CD Cover
Image © Deutsche Grammaphon 2005
\r\nand © Universal Classics 2005

(03 September 2005) Agentinian dynamic diva, Mercedes Sosa, comes alive with Corazón Libre (Deutsche Grammaphon (Gmbh) | Universal Classics (USA) B0005054-02, 2005) which highlights her magnificent voice with simple acoustic guitar accompaniment. She has been the "Voice of Latin America" for four decades and is revered in her homeland as a symbol of life and freedom.

Mercedes began her performing career at the age of fifteen after taking top honors in radio station amateur competition. She is known for her expressive and soulful vocals. Throughout the years, she chose overtly political material to sing, and alongside artists Violetta Parra and Atahualpa Yupanqui, she lead the rise of the "nueva canción" movement, proclaiming the emergence of protest music across Argentina and Chile in the 1960's.

Viewed as a serious threat to Agentina's military regime, Mercedes was arrested on stage at a concert in 1979. She was forced into exile after a series of death threats and retreated to Paris and Madrid. She made a triumphant return to Argentina in 1982, several months before the military regime collapsed as a result of the Faulklands War. She went on to record album after album for many years thereafter, also winning two Latin Grammy awards in the Best Folk Album category in 2000 and 2003.

Corazón Libre was produced by the renowned musician, vocalist and arranger Farias Gomez with Jorge Giuliano (her long-time accompanist), and leading folk guitarists Luis Salinas, Eduardo Falu and Alberto Rojo. Fans will recognize her folk classics such as "Zamba de Argamonte" and "Tonada del viejo amor" in addition to contemporary songs by Argentine poets and songwriters.

This Argentian songstress, who just turned seventy years old, continues to rise to the top with her spectacular and powerful voice. She has charisma that reaches through to the listener, making a long-lasting impression. One of her biggest hits, "Todo Cambia" (Everything Changes), is revamped by Mercedes in this album and the song speaks to the suffering earth, the forgotten street children and lost love.

The album's cover art was drawn by a friend and fan of Joan Baez who gave it to Mercedes as a gift in 1988. The cover relates the simplistic theme of this CD.

Renowned for her messages of peace, international integration, defense of human rights and artistic and personal integrity, Mercedes continues as the magnificent legend that her 35 year career has spanned. Afficionados of her music will be enthralled by the simple clarity of her inspired compositions that touch the heart.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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