Coro

Coro

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In the Latin freestyle genre of the '80s and '90s, women tended to outnumber men slightly. Many of the genre's big names -- Exposé, the Cover Girls, Sweet Sensation, Nayobe, and Sa-Fire, among others -- were female. Nonetheless, freestyle (which was also called Latin hip-hop) did have its share of male stars, including TKA, Stevie B., and Nice & Wild. In 1991, male singer Coro jumped in the freestyle race with this self-titled debut album, which was produced by Zahid Tariq and/or Hector Gonzalez. Coro's CD has all of the usual freestyle elements -- salsa-minded melodies, hip-hop-influenced production, and romance-obsessed lyrics that border on melodramatic. The little-known East Coast singer adds nothing new or different to freestyle -- his material is highly derivative -- and his vocals are undeniably thin. But despite those things, most of the songs aren't bad. Even though tunes like "My Fallen Angel," "Where Are You Tonight," and "Promise You My Love" aren't in a class with TKA or Nice & Wild's best work, they're still likable and catchy. Up-tempo dance-pop dominates the CD, but Coro includes a few romantic ballads as well. "We Belong Together" and "Missing You" aren't masterpieces, but they're decent urban/adult contemporary ballads. Unfortunately for Coro, this album fell through the cracks -- and the singer never recorded another album for Cutting/Charisma. Although not one of freestyle's definitive releases, this CD is a pleasant, if predictable, footnote in the history of East Coast dance-pop.