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Part of the fun of listening to Toby Love's songs is that you don't exactly know what sound is coming next. It could be as mellow as an island breeze or as claustrophobic as a city block.
Love is nominally associated with bachata, a Latin genre that originated in the Dominican Republic but is wildly popular among the Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean as well as in the United States.
But the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Love is from New York, having been born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents.
So it's not surprising that Love's take on bachata mixes the genre's traditions - forlorn paeans to romance gone terribly wrong - with more contemporary urban R&B and hip-hop.
The 33-year old Love's latest single, "Lejos," which hit the Top 40 on Billboard's Latin Chart, will undoubtedly get an airing at his show Friday at the Garde Arts Center.
The show is part of New London Latino Heritage Month celebration and will also feature a number of local singers and dancers.
- STEVE CHUPASKA
Toby Love, 8 p.m., Friday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $33, $43, (860) 444-7373, gardearts.org.