Archive for the ‘bachata’ Category

Aventura- Latin Sensations

Interesting article.How will Aventura’s crossover attempt do? Will mainstream America accept and embrace their music? Can mainstream America figure out how to perceive a group that is both Latin and Black?

Will African American audiences go for it? Hey, that W&Y song with 50 Cent is killin, finally a reggaeton song with a rapper that didnt have the dude hollerin and yowlin all off beat fuckin up the music. An AfricanAmerican friend of mine in FL asked me about De La Ghetto,so the word is getting out there, but does if white Americans don’t buy it but black English speakers do, does that count as mainstream or crossover success? I don’t know what the criteria are.

Well, lets see if Romeo strikes out on his own and if it works. I find him a little too cheesy and cocky, I think he may need the balance of his bandmates to keep from being a caricature. But I could be entirely completely wrong. He seems to have sense of humor and doesnt take himself toooo seriously, and he doesn’t mind sharing the stage and letting El Torito shine when they are on together, so who knows.

From the article

Mr. Santos, Aventura’s suave, sweet-voiced singer — best known by his nickname, Romeo — is a major star and heartthrob. But he and his band mates, Bronx-bred New Yorkers of Dominican descent who sing in both Spanish and English, are nearly invisible in the Anglo news media. Even in their hometown their renown varies from block to block.

“If I’m in a Latin neighborhood, and I walk into a restaurant, I might not be able to eat,” Mr. Santos said. “They’ll be there with the cameras, ‘Romeo, Romeo!’ Down here, though” — Mr. Santos gestured to the indifferent crowd milling on the sidewalk outside the movie theater — “it’s not like that.”

What is the definitive 21st-century New York musical act? A pop critic would probably point to one of the city’s arty indie-rock standard bearers, like TV On the Radio or Animal Collective, or to a rapper like Jay-Z. But pose the question to Latin music fans — or to hit radio listeners in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe — and the answer will likely be Aventura, whose blend of bachata with R&B, hip-hop and big-city attitude has created a swaggering, distinctly New York style.

Aventura is ubiquitous in the Latin media, but absent from Top 40 radio and major network talk shows. Those outlets that do address Latin music tend to prefer the quirky and obscure, ignoring mainstream sounds embraced by millions.

Aventura, dare I say it, are classic. Their first songs are as popular now as they were when they came out. I can listen to Mi Corazoncito every single day.And Por Un Segundo is killin.

Aventura and Hector Acosta “El Torito”

Wisin y Yandel with Romeo- Noche De Sexo

“Aventura are clearly speaking to bilingual, bicultural youth for whom the old, straight-Dominican ways of presenting themselves doesn’t reflect who they are,” said Deborah Pacini Hernandez,* an associate professor at Tufts University and the author of “Bachata: A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music.”

“I think we put the cool in bachata,” Mr. Santos said. “In the old days maybe kids would hear bachata and say, ‘O.K., I love the song, but, you know, this guy dresses like my grandfather.’ ”

Mr. Santos certainly isn’t grandfatherly, but there is something old-fashioned in his appeal. He specializes in sensuous love songs — declarations of passion, brokenhearted plaints, pleas for forgiveness — singing with a courtliness reminiscent of balladeers like Julio Iglesias

If concert audiences are any indication, Aventura’s stories hold special meaning for Latinas. Even in the songs that are the roughest on women — like the new album’s “Peligro,” a bitter rant about a gold-digger — Mr. Santos’s lyrics, like his quavering voice, carry a vulnerability that sets Aventura apart from the coarser sexual politics of rap and reggaetón.

* I’m not sure why I never noticed the author’s name before today. Duh. Go buy the Reggaeton book as well as the bachata book.I’m even usin a link that wont make it pay me a nickel if you buy the book, just so you know Im not doin this for the kickbacks.



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Kiko Rodriguez- kiko


1. Bandida- I like this one, its pleasantly melodic and not too twangy. Despite the nature of the lyrics, typically mournful bachata lyrics, it’s a fun song to sing along to. Its also very danceable. 8

2. 10 de Deciembre- Well, this is my birthday so I have a special fondness for the song. The guitar is really expressive in this one.The lyrics are farily plaintive but not quite misry inducing. Kiko has a smooth voice that doesn’t really get too raw and ragged, but does manage to convey emotion quite well.This is a really good song for dancing; it isn’t too fast or slow and has just the right amount of swing to it. 8

3. hasta Cuando Senor- This starts out so slowly that you know its going to suddenly burst into action,and sure enough it perks up into a brighy quick little bachata.It gets a little weird in the middle, it makes you want to say “um and what was that all about”. I give it a 5 its perfectly pleasant to both listen to and dance to, but also perfectly forgettable.

4. Un Beso When I hear the intro I think, “I’ve heard this a million times already”.The singing is a bit more “reaching” than in the past few songs and its romantic in that Monchy and Alexandra way, so it’s a very pleasant song for some nice romantic dancing. Long deep steps and floating, not quick jerky popping steps. If you dance bachata you know what I mean. 8

5. Mi Odio This sounds like Charlie Zaa, ah yes I know this song. It manages like most good bachatas, to be both fun and sad at the same time.Relatively uptempo and with enough oomph to dance well to it. 8.5

6.No Me Olvide de Tu Amor I think this may be one of my favorite bachatas ever. Its just miserable. When you are heartbroken, sitting at the bar staring blankly at the couples dancing, idly tapping your finger against a beer bottle. When the hot guy comes to the bar, you turn your head so as not to blow smoke into his face and he and leads you to the floor.You throw your arms over his shoulders and lean into him with a sigh, one hand holding your cigarette and the other your beer. And torso to torso, your legs and his entwined you rock , feeling his hot breath on the back of your neck as you both think of loves lost. You dance this way for a while before making eye contact and an unspoken promise to drown your sorrows in one another later that night. Well, this is the song that yall dance to. The singing is good, lyrics good but it’s the guitar that tells this story. 10

7. Vete y Vuelve Otra Vez- This is a little more uptempo and energetic.His voice is quite pleasant and expressive, too pleasant. I don’t want pop, I want writhing in agony singing, shit that has been wrenched from the soul. Still this is a pretty good little song for dancing and singable as well. 7.5

8. Homenaje al Jibarito- This combines the good bolero-iffficness of the bolero with the bachatativity of bachata. THIS is what Charlie Zaa attempted and failed to do with his Bachata CD. Hmm, I like this and he is almost almost reaching down enough inside to get it, but now that I think about it I would rather hear Luis Vargas or Anthony Santos singing. Still, let me not be so picky,I really like this and give it a 9.

9. No Soy Bandolero- A very sweetly sung bright little bachata that is good to close out a night of dancing.It feels like the last song of the night, whatever that means.6

10. Toma Mambo Well, how tipico. A pretty lightweight piece of tipico mambo fluff.I would halfheartedly dance too this while waiting for a good song to come on or with girl or my kids or something. It has a kinda polka sound to it that makes you want to get silly.7

Let me see, my cut?

Bandida, 10 de Deciembre, Un Beso, No Me Olvides de Tu Amor, Homenaje al Jibarito and Toma Mambo

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Hello World.

I have been on hiatus,but I cannot resist the lure of the blogosphere. I have spent way too many hours over the past 8 years discussing music. Usenet, Yahoo groups, email, salsa sites- you name it and I’ve been there writing away. I’d love to migrate all of my writings to my blog, but I suspect that will be impossible. So, I will add as much old content as possible while adding whatever pops in my head.

Who am I? A salsera, merenguera, bachatera, reggaetonera. I’ma rabid fan of latin music in general. My passion is afro-latin music with a little soft spot for the genres of PuertoRico. I have a degree in computer science but spend most of my time dissecting salsa, reggaeton, analyzing slang, pondering identity issues in the Americas and generally NOT dealing with C++, databases or anything computer-like.

When I graduated from college 5 years ago, my plan was to go back and study ethnomusicology.
I figured I could spend my days and nights listening to salsa and bachata and reggaeton, travel to the Caribbean to experience it in the wild and FIND A WAY TO GET PAID TO DO SO. Realistically, I plan to return for a degree in Spanish and thenwork toward aPhD in black/puertorican/latino studies and ultimately teach.

“No students, we arent listening to music today. We are studying afro-latin identity and researching how salsa,dancehall and hip-hop have contributed to the creation of reggaeton and how this has impacted latino youth throught the Americas. Now,lets listen toMaelo and Tego.Will someone please go plug inthe subwoofer.”

Hey, I can dream. What are my qualifications. Uh, I can barely read music, don’t count when I dance (though dance well, I do). Can’t sing and can’t play any instruments. What I can do is listen to salsa and the other mentioned genres a good 8 hours a day. I’m a rabid fan. And like any fan, I cant resist the urge to discuss what I love and try to con other people into listening to it.

So,I welcome you t othe blog. It wont be scholarly,its all about dancing and moving and having a good time over here. Its about what I like. I hope you all enjoy it.


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