Ricardo Arjona

Lados B

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Lados B is one of numerous Ricardo Arjona compilations released during the 2000s, a decade that saw the Guatemalan singer/songwriter recycling old material more often than releasing new material. A compilation of Arjona songs that were never released as hit singles, Lados B is a resourceful utilization of back catalog material. At the time of its release in 2003, Arjona hadn't yet released a definitive greatest-hits compilation, and Lados B is something of a stubborn attempt by him to issue a stopgap album without committing himself to a best-of statement. He clearly felt that he had more hitmaking ahead of him and that it wasn't yet time to issue a definitive greatest-hits compilation. Instead, fans got stuck with Lados B, a collection of album tracks targeted at no one in particular. Devoted fans who already have all of his albums in their collection will have no need for this compilation, whose only rarity is "A Cara o Cruz," a bonus track found on the Spanish edition of Galería Caribe (2000). In fact, the bulk of Lados B comes from the recently released Galería Caribe ("Sólo Quería un Café," "Lo Poco Que Queda de Mí," "Receta," "Pensar en Ti"). The compilation also includes two songs from Sin Daños a Terceros (1998) ("Tarde [Sin Daños a Terceros]," "Vientre de Cuna"), four from Si el Norte Fuera el Sur (1996) ( "Aún Te Amo [Carta No. 1]," "Duerme," "Abarrotería de Amor," "Tú"), two from Historias (1994) ("Ayúdame Freud," "Del Otro Lado del Sol"), and one from Animal Nocturno (1993) ("Animal Nocturno"). Most of the songs are low-key in style and were confined to the tail-end of their respective album. While completists have no need for Lados B, neither do neophytes. This compilation is a misleading entry point into Arjona's catalog. Neophytes are better off starting with either the subsequently released greatest-hits compilations Quién Dijo Ayer (2007) and Simplemente lo Mejor (2008) or else Historias, which many fans consider to be Arjona's finest album, and then moving on to Si el Norte Fuera el Sur and Sin Daños a Terceros before going backward to Animal Nocturno.

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