Mexican electronic pop trio Belanova established themselves as an appealing act with their debut album, Cocktail (2003), and its chart-topping single, "Tus Ojos." With their second album, Dulce Beat, however, they establish themselves as downright irresistible, as the album includes about a half-dozen songs just as infectious as "Tus Ojos." Vocalist/songwriter Denisse Guerrero, programmer/keyboardist Edgar Huerta, and bassist Ricardo Arreola possess a clear talent for sticky-sweet pop music. Their songs are simple and to the point, which is, of course, the hooks, which in almost all cases are instantly memorable. None more so than that of "Por Ti," a song that demands endless plays (and if not on your iPod, then in your mind, where it will likely be lodged for longer than you may like). In addition, "Niño," "Soñar," "Miedo," and "Me Pregunto" -- literally every other song of the 11-track Dulce Beat -- likewise boast memorable hooks so effervescent you feel as though you're floating lightly in the air as you listen along. There's no single quality that makes these songs so magnetic; rather, it's a combination of Guerrero's pixyish voice as well as her baby-doll swagger, Huerta's swirling layers of soft-hued electronics, and Arreola's driving basslines, not to mention the Midas touch of Cachorro López. The Argentine producer, rightly recognized for his brilliant work with Julieta Venegas, brings a key sense of vibrancy to these songs, so that when the hook comes around, it catches your ear forcefully. His production is in large part what makes Dulce Beat so much more charming than its predecessor, for it's easy to hear the relation between the music here and that which López produced for Venegas on Limón y Sal and Paulina Rubio on Ananda, both subsequently released in 2006. As wonderful as many of the songs on Dulce Beat are, though, the album itself at times feels insubstantial, more like a collection of singles interspersed with B-sides than a genuine album. For instance, it might have benefited from an occasional collaboration or stylistic detour, if only to mix up the proceedings a touch.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier