Obie Bermúdez

Todo el Ano

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Often times Latin pop releases are one or the other: Latin or pop. The genre's biggest names, such as Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, and Luis Miguel, all fall on one side of that line or the other. While Anthony will produce a burning salsa track with pop sheen, and Miguel may add a horn line that hints at Mexican influence, the Latin pop category is dominated by artists unable to synthesize these two musical worlds. Obie Bermúdez yet again proves to be ahead of the pack in this regard with his 2004 release Todo el Año. The album possesses an aggressively raw rock band sensibility and a musical sense that's Latino to its core. Obie is neither a puertorriqueno gone pop or the other way around: he's both, naturally. Chugging guitar riffs flow seamlessly into burning timbale on the single "Celos." The simmering cuatro-fueled bomba rhythm that drives "Recuerdos" is Boricua from beginning to end, and totally accessible to Bermúdez's huge Anglo audience. Bermúdez's melodic sense is inescapably poppy and undeniably Latino. On his third solo record Bermúdez proves a mature and confident songwriter. His passionate performance, inventive lyricism, and irresistible melodic writing might remind listeners of artists like Jorge Drexler or Gavin DeGraw. Hitting Billboard's Latin Pop Charts at number four in the year of its release, Todo el Año marked a step forward for Bermúdez both in artistry and market success alike.

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