Los Super Reyes

Cumbia Con Soul

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Keyboardist, producer, and creator of Los Super Reyes Cruz Martínez, formerly of Selena's backing band and Los Kumbia Kings, is making it quite explicit whose band this is and whose show this is on the group's second album. Where the last album merely said "Cruz Martínez Presenta Los Super Reyes," the cover of Cumbia con Soul credits the disc to "Cruz Martínez y Los Super Reyes." Other than that, though, not much has changed between albums. The group's large membership (there are a dozen of them, including Martínez) continues to seem superfluous, since the music is primarily driven by synth grooves and rhythms that could easily have been programmed. There are a few new sonic touches on this album -- some Auto-Tune here and there, and two songs in English. But for the most part, the group sticks to its blend of techno, cumbia, pop R&B crooning, and the currently ascendant Latin sound, bachata. The trouble is, none of these songs -- not even "Sin Tu Amor," which straight-up rips its hook from Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" -- are as catchy and addictive as "Muevelo," the single that launched Los Super Reyes in 2007. Maybe that's why this album closes with the English-language "Go Ahead Girl" and "Something About Her"; Martínez figures that if crossing over to dance clubs is the move, as reggaetoneros like Wisin y Yandel and Don Omar have figured out on recent albums, then English lyrics can only be the logical next step. Don't be surprised to hear about an album by Cruz Martínez and the Super Kings.

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