Flore, Gabriel Rios’ 5th studio album, is a paean to the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. More specifically, these are songs that go back to both his father and grandfather’s youth; songs they would have loved to hear him sing. It’s a heady concoction that’s simultaneously nostalgic and iconoclastic in the rediscovery of a musical hemisphere that Rios left behind two decades ago when leaving Puerto Rico for Europe. But Flore doesn’t simply aim to pay tribute to old latin classics by remaining faithful to the arrangements and instrumentation of 1960’s Nuyorican salsa or older popular ballads of Mexican and Cuban bohemia. It’s a Latin album made in isolation and exile, not only because it was birthed during last year’s pandemic, but because it finds Rios looking back from afar, maybe for the first time, to what remains of his past and his roots.