That Marc Ribot oozes talent is a given. You don't get to work with Elvis Costello and Tom Waits if you can't let loose the kind of licks that make jaws drop and brains sizzle. Whether he's backing the biggest and best names on rock's freakiest fringes or playing in one of his boundary-smashing solo projects, Ribot's twisted, skronky guitar lines conjure worlds where blasé concepts like physics and logic don't seem to apply.
That legendary status on the outré edge of pop culture makes Los Cubanos Postizos all the more impressive. If you're predicting a radical deconstruction of the Cuban tradition, you're looking in the wrong direction altogether. Ribot came here not to bury Latin music but to praise it, and his “prosthetic Cubans” are nothing but faithful to the sound and spirit of their influences. Sure, Ribot's angular guitar gives the proceedings an edge, but there's not a trace of irony or distance to Los Cubanos Postizos; just a passionate—and often downright gorgeous—exploration of a rich musical culture.