Manny Manuel

Lleno De Vida

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Manny Manuel's boyish looks belie his deep, powerful voice. The Puerto Rican merengue singer brings a light, pop-oriented sound to a genre whose recordings are generally designed for the hardcore dance addict. In LLENO DE VIDA, Manuel doesn't stray much from his pop-merengue formula, but he draws the listener in with husky, insistent vocals. With each track, he hints at Mexican-style ballad, European club music, and '70s-style Latin romantic pop, but the band always returns to a merengue groove that is more suited for drive time than the dance floor. With the opening track, "En las nubes," Manuel draws you into to his world of pathos with a cautionary tale about women who want him only for his money. He does use female back-ups in his chorus, a device not heard much in merengue outside of Juan Luis Guerra. Manuel's choice of "Penas," an old standard by '70s torch singer Sandro, is another nod to the lite-FM crowd. In "Vivir asi es morir de amor" Manuel brings all of his tendencies into play and manages to whip up a frenzy that can bring you to your feet.

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