Friday, June 02, 2006

Reggaeton: Don Omar - King of Kings

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 mp3 buy@iTunes
Don Omar - Ojitos Chiquitos mp3 buy@iTunes


Anonymous said...

don omar sigue siendo el rey!! si no te gusta el disco no le has escuchado bien, esta bien duro

latinos reportense!!

Santana said...

While not all the songs on Don Omar's album are specatcular, it's much better than some of the stuff out there right now. I downloaded the songs you mentioned, and one thing I immediately noticed were the lengths of the songs. Too many reggeaton songs last roughly about 3 minutes, and that doesn't exclude how many times they say their name, talking about how thisis their new song etc. Tito's song "Caile" isn't very long in the first place, but he cuts off about 50 seconds on nonsense. I understand that these artists have to say their names, or we wouldn't know who's singing it, since the reggaeton genre isn't as famous as, let's say, the Rap genre. But really, repeating your name a dozen times is ridiculous. Don Omar's songs are about 4 minutes long, pretty good time. And what about the "Noche De Sexo" song, by Wisin y Yandel ft. Aventura? It's 3:30 minutes, but at the end, a whole minute is used up by their talking.

It's a shame, because it's not only the reggaeton genre that's cutting time. I remember when bachata songs used to last a good 6 minutes, but those days are no more. Yeah, it might be a bit of an annoyance on the dance floor, those 6 minutes, but 3 minutes is not enough.

I think I got off topic, but anyway, I love Don Omar, I prefer him over Daddy Yankee. And I also love Calderon, for a number of reasons. I liked your post, and I appreciated the honesty. Rare these days, people conform to other people's opinions too much.

Chapín said...

No acutally that's very on topic :) Maybe that's why this CD still feels more complete than other reggaeton discs. Normally the reggaeton rappers keep repeating their names, the producers names, the name of this album, the name of their next album, the year it'll be released, some stupid phrase they always say (like Hector y Tito: Dios les bendigaaa :D ), and so on. Don Omar doesn't do that a lot, so the disc isn't just a collection of songs, but it's all part of a big thing.

Anonymous said...

King of kings was an ight album its true i give 5 max 6 good song on this disc and those 6 truely all i need 2 jus jam to it but isn't jam after jam tho' but it was a self reflectin album Don Omar can always make a remix riiiight!! ha u kno those remixs are hot so don't b surpised to hear a remix pretty soon ight...

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