[coll]: Rough Guide to Merengue (World Music)
Reviewed by Sadie O., 5/11/06
Fast-paced Dominican dance (with touches of Cuba and Haiti) with complex rhythm, prominent horn section, often salacious lyrics, extremely close dancing. Very fun and upbeat – it’s hard to be depressed with this music playing. A couple of tracks are a bit too slick and pop (the bands moved to New York), but most are great fun.
No FCCs, although there may well be naughty innuendos in Spanish. Track 12 is great, 2 and 11 almost as good, most are fun and danceable.
1. **uptempo and upbeat – the Puerto Rican Backstreet Boys of Merengue. Complex horn arrangements.
2. ***Midtempo, swingy, a hint of reggae from a Dominican artist with diverse influences. A bit of rap. Fun!
3. **Slightly uptempo, complex horns, star Dominican/Puerto Rican boy band.
4. *uptempo, big DR/NY female singer, huge vocals.
5. **midtempo, hit PR band with big horns
6. downtempo (but still with fast hand percussion), too slick.
7. *Uptempo, Dominican orchestra with male lead singer and female chorus.
8. **somewhat uptempo, cool Columbian merengue/salsa/cumbia fusion.
9. **midtempo swingy, great horns.
10. Midtempo Dominican overly empassioned vocals relieved only slightly by a touch of PR reggaeton from Danny Boy.
11. ***Uptempo, energetic and fun.
12. ****Somewhat uptempo, slight hip hop touch to vocals, great arrangements.
13. **somewhat uptempo, a touch of salsa.
14. **Just plain fast, with accordian, rootsy vocals. More “country”, roots of Merengue than other cuts.