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Album Review: Wisín, 'Los Vaqueros: La Trilogía'

by Judy Cantor-Navas

Album Review: Wisín, 'Los Vaqueros: La Trilogía'

About This Album

Wisín y Yandel were among the best of the original reggaetóneros, that Puerto Rican posse who defined urban Latin music and who went on to change the sound of Latin pop in the new millennium. Like hip-hop, reggaetón was collaborative from the start. Tony Dize and Plan B, San Juan barrio boys who joined Wisín and Yandel back in their "Rakata" days on the seminal Más Flow compilations, are among the many artists featured on Wisín's Los Vaqueros: La Trilogía.

The 23 songs on Wisín's second album since splitting with Yandel also include an EDM-inflected number with Ricky Martin, who got an indirect assist from artists like Wisín a decade ago when the Latin pop revolution stagnated and reggaetón saved commercial Latin music. It’s not so surprising that Colombian superstar Carlos Vives joins in on a sultry tropical song with Wisín and Daddy Yankee; what’s less expected is it’s actually pretty good. Even bachata pop phenom Prince Royce is here with a street-wise ballad, “Tu Libertad.” Wisín y Yandel were always rock stars when it came to studio production, and that’s still true for Wisín. These and other random collaborations could be car wrecks, but they’re mostly capable and catchy, strong enough to cruise easily to radio.

It’s the old-school reggaeton that shows that this vaquero is still in the saddle. The intro track, with a team of Puerto Rican all-stars that includes Baby Rasta, Cosculluela, Franco El Gorila and Arcángel, brings you back to the days when reggaeton was hot, dirty music that made you want to sweat.

The second track, “Amenázame,” continues with classic Latin dancehall.Things get better with hard Puerto Rican hip-hop on “Piquete,” with Plan B; the mixtape-rough “Caramelo,” with Cosculluela and Franco el Gorila; and “Traviesa.”

This record’s series of singles spins on with a lot of the kind of collaborations that are a by-product of success. The best is when La Trilogía goes to reggaetón’s roots on tracks that take you down low to the floor or have you dancing in your chair, and bring back the excitement that started it all.

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