Simplemente... El Torito, the third full-length studio release by Héctor Acosta, is a well-balanced album of both merengue and bachata with a few notable guest features and several great songs. During his 15-year tenure with Los Toros Band, Acosta was primarily associated with merengue, a style that peaked in popularity during the mid- to late '90s. As bachata began to overtake merengue in popularity after the turn of the century, Acosta began embracing the style and experienced considerable success with it. For instance, the most popular songs from his first two solo albums, Sigo Siendo Yo (2006) and Mitad/Mitad (2008), were generally bachata in style, in particular the respective smash hits "Me Voy" and "Sin Perdón." Like Mitad/Mitad, Simplemente... El Torito kicks off with some merengue (i.e., "La Noche") and returns to the style intermittently ("La Triste," "Maria Tomasa," "Te Mando Flores"). Meanwhile, there are a number of great bachata songs that pop up in between the merengue numbers. Most notable among these standout songs are "Tu Primera Vez" and "No Puedo Matar," which are sequenced back to back in the middle of Simplemente... El Torito. "Tu Primera Vez" is a bachata similar in style to "Me Voy," albeit with lyrics that are considerably more risqué (the promotional video for the song is particularly memorable, with Acosta cast as a priest). A commercially oriented remix of the song featuring RKM & Ken-Y (mostly Ken-Y with a lot of Auto-Tune) closes the album. The second of these mid-album highlights, "No Puedo Matar," is a showcase for the heretofore unknown group Bachata Heightz, whose collaboration with Acosta is impressive. Elsewhere on Simplemente... El Torito, Acosta collaborates with Don Omar and Marcy Place on "Maldito E-Mial," a rhythmically interesting song with lots of youth appeal (which seems to be the premise behind all of the collaborations here). Lastly, there's "Dios Ha Sido Bueno," a contemporary Christian song sequenced second to last. Though it's not an especially good song, it helps further diversify Simplemente... El Torito, another well-balanced album by Acosta that covers all aspects of the Dominican music spectrum, from merengue and bachata to CCM.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Bachata Heightz
feat: RKM & Ken-Y