Following an extensive social media campaign Juan Luis Guerra has launched his twelfth studio album, Todo Tiene Su Hora. Together with his band 4.40 the 57-year-old Dominican superstar has recorded 10 songs with a total playing time of only 30 minutes. Nonetheless, the album is a rich supplement to his discography. Personally I find it better than his previous album Colección Cristiana that was released 2 years ago and was filled with a couple of old songs.
The opening song of the cd is Cookies & Cream, a little cheesy merengue. It is followed by Tus Besos, a more carefully composed bachata which is also the album’s lead single. Canto A Colombia praises the country and people of Colombia and is an original blend of salsa and cumbia. The title song Todo Tiene Su Hora is a merengue and did also appeare prior to the album. It is followed by Dime Nora Mia, a typical Juan Luis Guerra salsa composition and melody. Para Que Sepas sounds very much like a Cuban bolero, especially because the beautiful hobo lines. Another merengue, and probably the most annoying song of the album because of its silly melody is El Capitán. Muchachita Linda is a quiet and careful bachata and is followed by a fast salsa song, Todo Pasa. One can sense salsa is not Juan Luis Guerra’s domestic style, but there is no disputing about his songwriter qualities. The last song of the album is joined by fellow countryman Johnny Ventura and is a real merengue party!
The only song that has a videoclip is Tus Besos. The clip is in fact a little musical orchestrated by Juan Luis Guerra’s son who gave the clip a fifties theme.
Juan Luis Guerra has just completed a small Latin American tour together with Marc Anthony (Gigante2) and some shows also with Carlos Vives (Gigant3s). I don’t think he will build a tour around his new studio album (he hasn’t done so for his previous album either), but it would be exciting to hear some of his new material live on stage!
This song could have been a summer hit if it had been launched a little later. Colombian multi-talent Fanny Lú (she is a singer-songwriter, actress, mother and industrial engineer) has joined forces with Joey Montana from Panama. Both artists are entirely in their comfort zones with this poppy merengue hit. The lyrics have a feminist edge but the tune is too happy to even bother. Here it is:
Two weeks ago merengue-star Elvis Crespo has released his 10th studio album, One Flag. It can be claimed that the Latin Grammy Award-winning singer’s fame is still attributable to his first single, Suavemente – the merengue counterpart of Aventura’s Obsession. However, the American-born Puerto Rican artist is able to exceed this previous success with this new CD.
The most sticky songs on the album are featured: Pegaito Suevecito featuring Fito Blanko from Panama and Sopa De Caracol featuring the popular American-Cuban Pitbull. No Hay Compromiso, among with the majority of the other songs on the album, has those typical pounding merengue beats indeed without concessions.
This album is another example of the trend that, with the increasingly prominent presence of uptempo electronic beats, different latin and caribbean genres such as reggaeton, merengue and dancehall are mingling together into a new blend of urban latin pop. Bembe De Infieles is the best example of this.
Saturday the 12th of October I had the privilege to attend the ‘ASonDeGuerra’ tour in Rotterdam. Although a slightly expensive and dutiful performance from Juan Luis Guerra, I could not have missed out.
The king of merengue nearly played for 2 hours, featuring his latest album complemented by a lot of hit-songs (aren’t they all?): A Pedir Su Mano, La Bilirrubina, Frío Frío, Ojalá Que Llueva Café, La Travesia, Para Ti, Como Yo and La Guagua. Together with a large band and bespoke video-animations to each song, a solid performance was put down. Among the merengue, bachata and salsa tunes, two songs were transcending the others in my personal opinion: El Niagara en Bicicleta and the duet Como Abeja al Panal.
The latin-ish crowd and good DJ’s prior to the show made it an excellent night to move your feet and sing along. If only there were more songwriters such as Juan Luis Guerra.