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Mario Vazquez by Mario Vazquez
Released: Sep 2006
Label: Arista
Mario Vazquez dropped out of the final round of American Idol because he wanted to control his sound, and his self-titled debut is better for it. Sure, there's the typically heart-tugging ballads, the cuddly "One Shot" and the bittersweet "Gallery," but he also connects with his Puerto Rican roots on the excellent "Cohiba," featuring Fat Joe and Knox, and explores Caribbean rhythms on "Don't Lie." Only time will prove whether or not Vazquez made the right decision by dropping out, but his debut is among the strongest to emerge from that pageant.
Sam Chennault
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