Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tito “El Bambino”: The Boss is Back

Romance and Reggeaton. The two things don't seem together. But it appears that with his new record, Tito “El Bambino” attempts to combine the two more than ever before. But is the end result a victory? Si Senor! Since his solo breakthrough smash “Caile,” (“Get to It”) Tito has slowly emerged from the shadows of his former duo partner Hector “El Father.”

Little by little, single after single, Tito's career has gotten hotter and hotter, and he has done so without resorting to working with flavor-of-the-month producers like so many of his contemporaries have.

Tito “El Bambino's” third solo album, El Patron: La Vitoria (“The Boss: The Victory”) succeeds as a reggeaton record in several ways: It's sexy without being smutty, club-ready without being lyrically whimsical, and fresh without being pretentious. “El Amor” (“Love”), perhaps the artist's most soft-hearted track yet, shows Tito's romantic side, has at least won the hearts of many, as its become a #1 Latin track on Billboard and was nominated for a Latin Grammy.

The track also sees Tito add some tropical spice to his sound, going away from his initial hardcore reggeaton sound. In the past, Tito has dabbled in other sounds, but never so full-on or so successfully. An album with many highlights, it would be difficult to pick a winner for best song. The victor on this record would be the most explosive track on the album, “Piropo” (“Compliment”). Tito flavors reggeaton with merengue for the song, and the results are musical equivalent of fire; hot and sexy.

Aside from dabbling in merengue, Tito “El Bambino” explores other sounds on the album. “Te Comence a Querer”(“I Began to Love You”) is a stright-forward Aventura-esque bachata track, “Sueltate” (“Let Yourself Go”) a Daddy Yankee-meets-Justin Timberlake track has Tito going more pop than ever before, and “Te Pido Perdon” (“I Ask Forgiveness”) is pure tropical, serving as a semi-sequel to “El Amor” musically.

On the other side, “Se Me Dana la Mente” (“It Damages My Mind”) and “Under” venture into the darker world of reggeaton. The two are perhaps the most interesting tracks Tito “El Bambino” has ever done, showing his capability to write haunting melodies and still produce sultry dance-floor killers.

Doing a completely 180, Tito even put a ballad in the mix. Rarely do reggeatoneros venture into the world of ballads, and perhaps there is reason, the same reason that Celine Dion doesn't venture into rap, the results can be extremely cringe worthy. Surprisingly, though, “Somos Iguales” (“We Are the Same”) may not be a future #1 single, but it does it's job. Tito sells his other side well on this track with just enough emotion and conviction. But when it comes to the other ballad “Te Extrano” (“I Miss You”), Tito doesn't get it quite right. More of an electronic ballad, the track could have been interesting, but it turns what what he's missing is a melody.

Unfortunately, as “Te Extrano” proved, the album isn't full of winners. “Feliz Navidad” (“Happy Christmas”) is a full-on salsa track, and as it would fit perfectly on the album musically, the fact that this is the only Christmas song on the record, it sounds totally out of place. “Baila Sexy” (“Dance Sexy”) is hookless-filler, “Mi Cama Huele En Ti” (“My Bed Smells of You”) flat out stinks. Finally, when it comes to “Desnudarte” (“Undress You”), with its cheap quasi-reggae beat and unsexy lyrics. If this song were a human, you'd be telling it to put its clothes back on.

At the end of the game, the album is still a victory. Where albums Top of the Line and It's My Time failed, El Patron: La Victoria shows that Tito has strengthened his game. While there are a few weak links in the chain, including the random Christmas track, Tito shows much promise. And as for the music on the record, it's good to see not all reggeatoneros are relying so heavily on futuristic electronic sounds, but going back the basics of classic Latin rhythms. Tito may not be the king of reggeaton, but with El Patron: La Victoria, he has finally become the boss.

No comments:

Post a Comment