David Bisbal


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If his first two albums didn't put to rest any doubts about the ability of David Bisbal, who first made a name for himself as a finalist on the Pop Idol-style Spanish television show Operación Triunfo, his third album, Premonición, is further evidence that he's a truly versatile vocalist able to sing a range of musical styles impressively. His first two albums, Corazón Latino (2002) and Bulería (2004), found him excelling as a singer of dance- and flamenco-accented Latin pop, spawning a multitude of chart-topping hits in his homeland, including "Ave María," "Lloraré las Penas," and "Dígale" from his debut album as well as "Bulería," "Oye el Boom," "Camina y Ven," and "Cómo Olvidar" from his follow-up album. On Premonición, however, he fashions a new style of Latin pop for himself, one that still features aspects of dance and flamenco but is primarily rooted in rock and powered by electric guitar riffs. No song on the album is more exemplary of this new style for Bisbal than the album-opening lead single, "¿Quién Me Iba a Decir?," a punchy pop/rock song with a forceful delivery and stadium-size overdubs on the chorus. It's one of Bisbal's best singles to date, no doubt about it. The half-dozen songs that follow -- from "Silencio" through the seventh-sequenced title track -- are also impressive, getting the album off to a solid start with a bunch of potential follow-up hit singles that are likewise fashioned as punchy pop/rock to varying degrees (two of them, "Como la Primera Vez" and "Amar el Lo Que Quiero," going the power ballad route, electric guitar solos and all). The one exception among this opening run of songs is "Torre de Babel," far and away the album's most interesting song. Whereas the other album-opening songs include a little Spanish guitar in the pop/rock mix, as if to remind listeners that Bisbal is indeed Spanish and not just another Latin pop star gone rock, "Torre de Babel" is a mélange of numerous styles, reggaetón above all. But "Torre de Babel" is more than simply a team-up with reggaetón superstars Wisin & Yandel on their stylistic turf, an increasingly common practice among pop stars as of 2006; rather, the song, which also features Spanish guitarist Vicente Amigo, includes aspects of flamenco and bhangra as well as reggaetón and rock. Moreover, a couple different mixes of "Torre de Babel" are tacked onto the end of the album as bonus tracks -- one without Wisin & Yandel, one with a greater emphasis on the Puerto Rican duo -- and are likewise stylistically interesting, casting the song in different lights. As on his past couple albums, Bisbal collaborates primarily with journeyman producer/songwriter Kike Santander, who is unsurprisingly credited with most of the standout songs (i.e., the first four). Unlike his past couple albums, however, Premonición is largely co-written by Bisbal, who is credited on over half of the songs, particularly the latter half of the album. While the Bisbal-penned songs don't come close to rivaling those of Santander, it's still nice to see the television-star-turned-pop-superstar taking more control of his career and putting more of his personality into his music. His future continues to look brighter with each album release.

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