2004 was a great year for David Bustamante. Not only did the Spanish pop singer (who turned 22 that year) show no signs of the infamous sophomore slump on his second album, Así Soy Yo (That's the Way I Am), but also, he enjoyed a lot of exposure by recording the intoxicating theme song for Telemundo's hit telenovela Gitanas (Female Gypsies). It's important to stress that the Gitanas theme was not included on the initial pressings of Así Soy Yo; the song was added at the end of the CD after it was heard in the novela. So anyone who hasn't already acquired this album and plans to do so should be sure to obtain one of the copies that does contain the Gitanas theme. But even without that jewel, Así Soy Yo has a lot going for it. With Emilio Estefan handling most of the producing, Bustamante is as much of a creative success on the up-tempo material as he is on the romantic ballads. The singer commands attention on ballads like "Nos Sorprendió el Amor" and "No Sé Vivir sin Ti," and he is equally captivating on up-tempo selections that include the infectious "Ni una Lágrima Más" (which Estefan co-wrote), the salsa-flavored "Bang, Bang," and, of course, the Gitanas theme. One hears a variety of influences on Así Soy Yo, ranging from Afro-Cuban salsa and Colombian cumbia to Spanish flamenco. But it is clear that this album is Latin pop first and foremost. Latin pop is Bustamante's stomping ground, and he does it pleasingly well on Así Soy Yo.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson