Juanes

In contrast with his fellow Colombian superstar Shakira (whose Sale el Sol kept his P.A.R.C.E. out of the top spot on Billboard's Latin Albums chart last December), Juanes has yet to make a move into English-language pop.

But that's hardly prevented him from rousing arena audiences throughout the United States: An open-eared rocker addicted to big choruses, dude steps onstage and immediately starts transmitting the kind of charisma you need only eyes and ears to comprehend. Like all of Juanes' albums, P.A.R.C.E. contains no shortage of well-meaning issue songs about injustice and disaster. In "Segovia," for instance, he pays tribute to the victims of a politically motivated 1988 massacre in a Colombian town.

As always, though, specificity somehow takes a backseat to universality.

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Mikael Wood