Empezar Desde Cero

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RBD's third album, "Empezar Desde Cero," unfortunately isn't as much fun as their earlier recordings, particularly their free-spirited debut album, the enjoyably frivolous Rebelde (2004), but it's a welcome turn toward maturity for the teen pop stars. It was perhaps inevitable -- like their fans, even made-for-television teen pop stars must grow old as the years pass. The result is a batch of songs with more thoughtful lyrical themes and more heartfelt performances from RBD, as if the teens are finally singing some material to which they themselves can relate. Christopher and Alfonso even get songwriting credits (for "Sueles Volver" and "Si No Estás Aquí," respectively). Yet once again, RBD's producers, Armando Ávila and Carlos Lara, are the ones credited with the standout songs: "Empezar Desde Cero," "Y No Puedo Olvidarte," and "Inalcanzable." These three songs start Empezar Desde Cero, and their successive sequencing is a bonus. Unlike past albums, where the good songs were spread out, these three songs are front-loaded on Empezar Desde Cero, and just as importantly, the lesser songs are sequenced toward the end. On some albums it's good to have the highlights spread out, but on an album like this, where some songs are ten times better than others, it's handy to have the highlights lined up so there's no need to skip around -- just hit play, and restart the album whenever you please. Indeed, the handful of highlights on Empezar Desde Cero are worthy of repeated listening. "Inalcanzable" and "Empezar Desde Cero" in particular might be RBD's best songs to date. They're so good, even RBD haters may be pleasantly surprised.

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