Reggaeton albums are often disappointing: most of them only have three or four good songs, and ten bad ones just to fill up the track list. The new Don Omar album King of Kings didn't really promise much either- it's release was very much anticipated, but mostly because it was postponed so many times. Don Omar had a really bad year in 2005 facing narcotics charges, and the beef between him and Daddy Yankee was all over the media. Not much time left for creativity, one would think.
The album starts out very well though. Violinist Miri Ben-Ari adds another dimension to Predica, the first song. It's about Don Omar's religious past, so a classical element fits perfectly here.
Then its back to good ol' gunshot samples & aggressive raps. "Reportense" is far from orginal, but a nice reggaeton song that will be blasting from a humvee near you very soon.
Innovation is a rare thing in reggaeton, but with "Ojitos Chiquitos", DJ Eliel brings a whole new sound to the genre. Omar is less aggressive but at the same time more gangsta, a true Don and master of the flow. Jangueo and Salió El Sol are party material, also very different from what we're used to in reggaeton.
But sadly, that's about it. Proving right to the 'three or four good songs' cliché, the rest of the album is completely interchangeable. There's a few failed experiments with other genres: ballad in Tu No Sabes and Muñecas de Porcelana (the latter song is about a lesbian love affair, causing some disturbance in conservative press). Dancehall Ragga in Belly Danza and Salió El Sol. And what's left is -excuse my words- complete and utter crap.
Don Omar's rough and rugged voice takes some time to get used to, but if you listen to the whole album another big fault pops up: monotony. Each played seperately, the songs sound all right. But if you listen carefully, almost every rhyme is sung in the exact same way. Throughout the WHOLE album! You can't say Daddy Yankee has a better voice, but at least he's being creative with it.
I know a lot of you won't like me anymore for giving Don Omar a bad review. But the four good songs on "King of Kings" are still worth the buy, in contrary to Daddy Yankee's million-selling Barrio Fino album. I hope Don Omar will be just as successful in bringing reggaeton to the masses. In the meantime I'm just anxioulsy waiting for the new Tego Calderon disc.
Don Omar - Reportense
Don Omar - Ojitos Chiquitos