Tony Touch

The Reggaetony Album

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It's suspect when anyone jumps on a trend a couple months after it blows up. The Reggaetony Album arrived after artists like Tego Calderón and Daddy Yankee had laid the 2005 groundwork for reggaeton's U.S. acceptance, but a legacy of street-level mixtapes validates that Tony Touch has been there and done that, just not at such a polished level. One look at the track list and you can see many of the genre's superstars -- Tego, Daddy, Ivy Queen, and Don Chezina -- have given this project their blessing. One listen and it's easy to hear that this is an inspired album and one that adds Touch's N.Y.C. edge to the reggaeton sound. He messes with the production more than most reggaeton producers and adds layers upon layers of synths and voices over the genre's primal and infectious beat. Quoting the World Famous Supreme Team's "Hey DJ" and inviting guests like Guru and the Beatnuts convincingly blends Touch's Big Apple heritage with his love for Puerto Rico's hottest export. This hour of infectious party music is mixed together by the master and there's not so much filler as there are redundant tracks. Reggaeton newcomers would be cheating themselves if they don't explore past Touch's East Coast vision of the genre, but it's a respectful album instead of exploitive one and a spicy party to boot.

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