When I asked most Spaniards what they listened to, they would begin to rant off a fairly long list of American or Brittish groups. Anything but something native Spanish. When I asked them what Spanish groups they liked, I got mostly, "We are known for Flamenco music." One name that did get thrown around a few times though was Jarabe de Palo. He became famous in 1999 with his first hit, "La Flaca," a bluesy / latin lament about a guy wanting a kiss from a sexy, skinny bar girl. Jarabe turns his back on the pop formulas that have made his fellow compatriots like Enrique Iglesias or David Bisbal popular and instead does what few do today: be a musician. His guitar playing rocks you into a warm little world when he wants to be sweet, and into a latin smoke-filled tasca when he wants to spice things up a bit. Jarabe has some Cuban influences in his tunes and even teams up with Celia Cruz in the last song, "A lo loco." Ballads like "Depende" and "Agua" are simple, yet rich in harmony and guitar melodies. He likes to throw his listener into a mix that is anything but "puro" because in the so called "pure" there is no "future" (En lo puro no hay futuro). This is a CD to play after or before some James Taylor to get the heartbeat going. If you want a little taste of Jarabe, watch his video "Bonito" on AOL radio, one that Alanis Morisette liked so much, she copied for a song on her latest album. Quality songwriting, from the heart, and not from the Pop-tune machine.