Billed as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, Talento de Barrio is a full-length showcase for Daddy Yankee that is essentially the follow-up album to El Cartel: The Big Boss (2007), a wide-ranging effort that found him experimenting with crossover tactics and collaborating with pop-rap artists including Akon, will.i.am, Fergie, and Scott Storch. Unlike that album, which yielded mixed results, Talento de Barrio doesn't aim to expand Daddy Yankee's fan base; rather, it aims to consolidate his already massive following. There are no English-language songs, no pop-rap collaborations, no Scott Storch productions, nothing even potentially embarrassing -- it's pure reggaetón. Granted, there are some Latin fusions (most effectively, "Llamado de Emergencia" fuses Columbian vallenato with reggaetón) and also some autotuned vocals à la T-Pain (the choruses of "Temblor" and "¿Qué Tengo Qué Hacer?"), but Talento de Barrio is clearly a return to Daddy Yankee's strengths as a street-level reggaetónero. This makes Talento de Barrio a less interesting album than El Cartel: The Big Boss, whose broad range of crossover tactics was fascinating even when certain songs didn't work out as well as planned. On the other hand, Talento de Barrio is an all-around better album than El Cartel: The Big Boss. Not only is it more stylistically consistent and more reasonably paced at 15 songs in less than an hour's time; most importantly, it sticks with what's already proven successful. Three highlights in particular exemplify what works best for Daddy Yankee: "Pose" is another in a line of electrifying club tracks ("Gasolina," "Rompe," "Impacto"), "Somos de Calle" is a socially conscious rallying call for the streets, and "Salgo pa' la Calle" is a melodic gem featuring a fantastic hook by Randy (of Jowell & Randy) and a standout production by Luny Tunes and Tainy.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier