Olga Tañón

Siente el Amor...

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Mujer de Fuego had established Olga Tañón as a serious hitmaker on the Hot Latin Tracks chart in 1993-1994, without question, and her subsequent album, Siente el Amor..., continued her hot streak, racking up an amazing six further hit singles in 1994-1995 (five of which reached the Top Five of the Latin Tropical/Salsa Airplay chart). It was with this album that Tañón earned her often-cited title as the Queen of Merengue, and to this day, Siente el Amor... remains an incredible accomplishment. Unlike some of her later albums, it was a huge success without resorting to pop ballads or up-to-the-minute production embellishment. It's a straightforward tropical album, through and through, and probably one of the best ever, especially if measured in terms of popularity, if not quality. Part of the wonder of Siente el Amor... is that it plays well as a whole. It may be half-comprised of hit singles, but it plays like an album. This cohesion is partly because the album doesn't rely on pop studiocraft, instead letting Tañón's backing musicians dominate throughout, resulting in an album that's musical, first and foremost, and most certainly rhythmic. This cohesion is also partly because a small handful of songwriters contribute multiple songs: Rodolfo Barreras wrote two of the album's high points ("Receta del Amor" and "Es Mentiroso"), Raldy Vázquez wrote three songs (including "Una Noche Mas," another high point), and Gustavo Márquez's "Entre la Noche y el Día" is performed twice (as a merengue and as an album-closing ballad). If one studio album were to illustrate why Tañón is such an enduring icon to multiple generations of Latin music listeners, Siente el Amor... would be it. The album lacks the widespread appeal that pop-crossover efforts like Te Acordarás de Mí (1998) would exhibit, or the seasoned ease that post-crossover "comeback" ones like Una Nueva Mujer (2005) would boast, yet it's probably the most exemplary Tañón album, the one that established her not only as a hitmaker but also as a phenom.

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