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For Celestial, their third Spanish-language studio album, RBD continued working with producers Carlos Lara and Armando Ávila, each of whom graced the teen pop group with roughly a half-dozen songs. Lara and Ávila had been largely responsible for the run of hits RBD enjoyed on their first two albums, Rebelde (2004) and Nuestro Amor (2005), both commercial smash hits throughout the Americas. Here the two producers stick with their winning formula and wind up with a few standout songs: "Tal Vez Después," "Ser o Parecer," and "Dame," which are front-loaded for a catchy kickoff to the album. The songs that follow aren't quite as charming, granted, yet they're not bad either, for Lara and Ávila are well-seasoned professionals who know how to craft appealing pop and dress it up fashionably. Previous to RBD, Lara earned his stripes on such teen pop projects as the Clase 406 soundtrack (based upon a telenovela, like RBD) and the boy band UFF. Ávila, on the other hand, guided La Quinta Estación to significant success, and he had a large hand in the brilliant outcome of Aleks Syntek's Mundo Lite, one of the best Latin pop albums in recent years. So while a legion of critics are sure to dismiss Celestial as further trash from this musically challenged troupe of kid actors, the international appeal of Anahi Portilla, Alfonso Herrera, Christian Chavez, Maite, Dulce Maria, and Christopher Uckermann (i.e., RBD) couldn't be clearer: they have executive production backing from Camilo Lara, VP of A&R and marketing for EMI Mexico; they're photogenically attractive, without question, and evidently well likable from a teenage point of view; they're willing to play their designated character roles (just consider the cover images of the CD -- the ridiculous amount of eyeliner on the boys, the sexed-up dress of the girls, the mussed-up hairstyles -- as well as the group's willingness to re-record their music for the Brazilian and English-language markets); and they work with two of the most accomplished Latin pop producers in the business as well as an array of ace songwriters. In the end, such a factory-line approach undoubtedly amounts to generic music, and indeed, Celestial isn't all that different from Nuestro Amor (however, the departure of songwriter Max di Carlo, who had written their initial hits, including their theme song "Rebelde" does differentiate this from their superior debut album). But as with any heavily invested mass-marketed product, it generally pays off to give customers what they want and expect, and Celestial should indeed please the teen pop group's hemisphere-spanning fan base as well as the suits at EMI and the industry analysts at Billboard.

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