On Bachata Rosa, which for more than 20 years was the best selling album in the history of the Dominican Republic, Guerra reinvented the bachata, a rural dance rhythm, energizing it with softer balladry and sophisticated production values. Most of the songs shimmer with romantic energy. It shines through the gently cinematic sway of "Estrellitas y Duendes," the honey sweet "Burbujas de Amor," and the organic honesty of the title track. But Guerra didn't limit himself to bachatas. The album also contains some of his most invigorating meringues-especially "Rosalia," and the Afro-Latino pop bounce of "A Pedir Su Mano." It's hard to underestimate the importance of this album; it's as fundamental to Latin music as Pet Sounds is to harmonic pop. Each timbale, guitar, saxophone, piano, and voice remains clear and distinct, while also melding into the exhilarating orchestration. Guerra's own singing-confident, expressive, and lyrical-wraps around songs that sound like the essence of romance. Bachata Rosa is that rarest of albums, a faultless evocation of love that transcends language and culture.