Various Artists

Tributo Urbano a Hector Lavoe

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AllMusic Review by

Tributo Urbano a Hector Lavoe offers up classic tracks from "El Cantante de los Cantantes" rebuffed by the urban latino genre's leading talents. Lavoe appears courtesy of his classic Fania recordings to perform duets with the heaviest reggaeton artists Machete Music could lay hands on. Don Omar, Hector "El Father" Gallego, and several others presented all find themselves acting as Afro-Caribbean musical ambassadors, introducing northern audiences to the sounds and styles so popular throughout the Latino world. How appropriate that they would find themselves in a posthumous collaboration with one of the artists most responsible for bringing Afro Latino dance music to worldwide popularity. Each artist has his own approach to paying Lavoe homage. Some interlace the Fania horn, conga, and vocal tracks with their own reggaeton rhythm and vocals. Mario Vi, Angel y Khriz, and Don Omar are all supremely successful in this pursuit. Others try their own hand at repertoire Lavoe popularized. Original renditions of "Calle Luna Calle Sol" (Locos por Juana), "Triste y Vacia" (the Dey) and "Todo Tiene Su Final" (Dalmata) all offer a new spin on familiar material. Still others simply contribute their own vocals to the original track, including La Sista's stamp on "Todo Poderoso." Each track is handled with the utmost respect, honoring the memory and legacy of a genre great. With a strong presence on Billboard's Latin Tropical charts (number 17), Tributo Urbano a Hector Lavoe could serve to introduce this salsa legend to an entirely new generation of listeners.