Poised for international breakthrough success, Chino & Nacho bundle four new songs with eight previously released ones on Mi Niña Bonita, their stateside debut album. Well established as Venezuela's top homegrown urban act, Chino & Nacho made their national debut a couple years earlier with Época de Reyes (2008). Prior to that, they were members of the tropical boy band Calle Ciega, whose 2005 smash hit single "Mi Cachorrita" topped the Venezuelan singles chart for several months. Outside of South America, however, Chino & Nacho were relatively unknown, especially in the United States, where Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Dominican artists reign supreme. Upon signing an international recording contract with Universal Music in 2009, the duo made their stateside debut late in the year with the infectious, tropical-inflected reggaeton single "Mi Niña Bonita." One of four new songs bundled with eight previously released ones from Época de Reyes, "Mi Niña Bonita" is produced by Richy Peña, an emerging Latin pop hitmaker who got his start in association with Don Omar a few years earlier. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and based in Boston, MA, Peña (not to be confused with Raphy Pina of Pina Records) produces multiple tracks on Mi Niña Bonita and presents Chino & Nacho with a wide-ranging reggaeton style that varies greatly from track to track but is generally romantic and tropical. The three other new songs on Mi Niña Bonita are all highlights: "Se Apagó la Llama" is a romantic ballad featuring R.K.M & Ken-Y, "Friday" is an electro-inflected party starter, and "Lo Que No Sabes Tú" is a highly rhythmic tropical workout featuring El Potro Álvarez and Baroni. The previously released material from Época de Reyes that follows on Mi Niña Bonita is less impressive and no doubt frustrating for those fans who already have that earlier album, but it's not without highlights, most notably the ballad "Me Mata, Me Mata" and the high-powered Don Omar collaboration "Dentro de Mí."
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier