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Cautivo Review

by Evan C. Gutierrez

The career of the "actor/singer" is a precipitous one indeed. Seldom has this combination yielded truly quality results for the artist in either arena. There have been a few examples of artists, like Rubén Blades and Marc Anthony, who've managed to straddle the fence successfully. With more than 15 records spanning nearly two decades on one side of the fence, and various tele novellas and major motion pictures to his credit on the other, Chayanne seems to have joined the side of the success stories. The 2005 release of Cautivo marks his continued success as a staple in the Latin pop world. On his first release for the Norte label, Chayanne teamed up with veteran producers Freddy Piñero, Jr., Gustavo Arenas, and Joel Someillan. Soaring pop balladry to raise the rafters and carefree country-tinged rock tunes were the result. With overdriven guitars on almost every track, and scarcely a conga head to be heard, this record is certainly more on the pop side than the Latin. Thankfully, it is on the tasteful side of pop. Thanks to acoustically warm arrangements and a rhythm section with a human touch, Cautivo dodged the loop bullet that fatally wounded so many of 2005's pop Latino crooners. Chayanne's cool, comfortable tenor mixed with quality writing and top-drawer studio work makes for a strong album sure to please dedicated fans as well as win more for the future.

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