At first, Casa de Leones' claim to be the puertorriqueño reggaeton equivalent to the Wu-Tang Clan may seem boastful or reaching. However, one listen to the group's 2007 debut disc Casa de Leones will go pretty far towards substantiating that claim. A coming together of reggaeton grassroots heroes Jowell & Randy (hitmakers responsible for "Agressivo"), Maximan (veteran of La Calle), Guelo Star (of "Reggaeton Sex" and "Sandungeo 2") and J-King, Casa de Leones was assembled by producer Elias de León. De León's experience and creativity is clear, as it's his maturity as a producer that sets the Casa de Leones project apart. Dripping with folkloric latino influence, grooves fueled by congas, kata and cuatro rather than the typical 808 drum machine and cheap-sounding synth melodies, de León seems to know not only the musical future, but the past as well. In a genre with one groove and maybe two basslines, Casa de Leones is a house of songwriters, with an original idea and sound for each track. From the horn and conga driven bomba/salsa "Pa' Mi Ponce" to the dancehall/reggaeton single "No Te Veo" to the straight-up reggae "Que Paso Yal," Casa de Leones offers a stylistic surprise around every corner. Thanks to brilliant lyrical writing and innovative, next-generation production, Casa de Leones may have created the most listenable reggaeton album to date. Landing top slots in several Latin categories, the Billboard charts seem to agree.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez