Saturday, May 1, 2010
It's difficult to compare Reik to any American pop-group, though their sound could be bunched up with the likes of Maroon 5 or similar acts, it's definite that Reik have their own style. Natives of Mexico, their music has no mariachi or cumbia influences, aiming much more for the pop/rock genre. Dispite this, or perhaps because of it, the group has become of the most popular and successful Latin pop groups of all time.
Don't let the Spanish lyrics get in the way, good music has no language. Un Dia Mas (One More Day), the group's third album, has already won the Latin Grammy for Best Pop Album, and the singles “Inolvidable” (“Unforgettable”) and “Fui” (“I Was”) can already be added to the long list of Latin pop radio classics the group has released over the years. Now the Edicion Especial (“Special Edition”) of the album has been released, with all the original songs along with new tracks and remixes.
The first album to include many songs written by the members themselves, Un Dia Mas has a more personal feel to it than previous records. And while LP's Reik and Secuencia had a much more accoustic rock\pop feel to it, Un Dia Mas explores different genres, and shows the group, for the first time, venturing outside of their comfort zone. “Inolvidable” (“Unforgettable”), the disc's first single, is pure pop perfection.
Along the lines of the other first singles of Reik, such as “Yo Quiesiera” (“I Would Like”) and “Invierno” (“Winter”), the track itself it unforgettable, and at the same time, shows the evolution of the group's sound. The track marks the group's first time using rock guitars as the basis of their sound. The group continue this trend of their new sound on songs such as “Ilusionado” (“Excited”), “No Hay Nadie Mas” (“There is No One Else”), and “Voy Estar” (“I'm Going to Be”).
All, while musically in the same boat, shine on the record with their own flavor. “Piel De Cuidad” (“City Skin”) a track the lead singer Jesus calls his most personal song, delivers not only his deepest lyrics, but his most diverse and strongest vocals yet.
If there is one thing Reik are known for, it's their sensitive ballads. While many of the tracks on this album are ballad-ish, surprisingly “Fui” is the only straight-forward pop ballad. It's perhaps the group's most passionate performance on the record, comparable only to their classic “Novembre Sin Ti” (“November Without You”) in terms of sheer brilliance. Along with the up-tempo pop/rock tracks and the ballads, are a few selected songs with a bit a bluesy-twang feel to it. Songs like “No Me Hables De Ayer” (“Don't Talk To Me About Yesterday”) and “No Desaparecera” (“I Won't Disapear”) venture to the sullen side. And though is the first time the group has dipped into this sound, Jesus sells the tracks just as well as their more pop-flavored material.
If there is a weak spot on the album, it would have to be the Kelly Clarkson-esque track “Vuelve a Mi” (“Come Back to Me”). While the song is melodically strong, the inclusion of hard-rock guitars during the chorus don't quite fit the song. Rarely can an artist successfully fuse sounds of hard-rock and pop, and unfortunately, like Kelly Clarkson, Reik fails at this. The album does end on a high note.
Originally the LP's closing track, “Un Dia Mas,” conveys the sound of the entire record combined perfectly. Reik's albums are usually full of single-worthy tracks, and if there is one song on this record which screams “single,” it's the title track. Bonus material on the special edition includes the feel-good-track “Momentos” (“Moments”), and “Mas Cerca De Mi” (“More Close To Me”), both which fit the album's theme of soft rock\pop perfectly, and even are stronger tracks than many of the album's originals. “Mi Pecado” (“My Sin”) pairs the group with Maite Perroni on the theme song from the popular novela (“soap opera”) of the same name. You can label the track ultra-romantic or hopelessly-cheesy, it's up to you. For novela viewers, though, there's no denying this song fits the formula of novela theme songs perfectly, and is quite possibly one of the best television theme songs, along with “Gata Salvaje” (“Wild Cat”) by Pablo Montero, ever.
Perhaps the best bonus on the disc, the Rocasound remix of “Inolvidable” takes the pop/rock track to the euphoric world of electronic/lounge. Not quite dance floor-ready, the remix dives more into the sound of ambiance, perfect for cocktail hour. The release also includes a DVD of the music videos from the Un Dia Mas-era, plus a photo gallery. While it's a nice, short collection, it's curious why all of their video clips were not included, or even a recording of their concerts. At the end of the day, Un Dia Mas is the group's strongest, most solid effort.
It's the combination of infectious melodies, strong musical production, and the passionate vocal performances that Jesus gives that sell each and every song. The record succeeds at being cohesive without being redundant, something rare in the pop/rock field. Listening to other contemporaries such as Alexis Ubago and Camila, it's appearant that Reik take the Spanish-pop genre to a higher level. Un Dia Mas has turned out to be one unforgettable day.