Javid David Álvarez Fernández (better known as simply J Alvarez) received solid critical notices for his debut mixtape, El Dueño del Sistema, in 2009. With DJ Nelson at his side, J Alvarez's sweet voice, atop seductive beats and clean, imaginative production, drew the notice of critics before radio programmers. But he stayed in the game, performing wherever and whenever he could. The persistence paid off. First there was the second mixtape, El Movimiento, which was followed by a special edition re-release of El Dueño del Sistema. What was revealed as promising on those early releases has come to complete fruition on Otro Nivel de Musica. While the album's preview single, "La Pregunta," with its moody club-dub soul, offered a taste, Otro Nivel de Musica (translated: A New Level of Music) contains a whopping 20 tracks drenched in high-quality reggaeton, creating a dynamic, flowing groove that makes it ideal for perreo dancing as well as listening. Standout tracks include "Junto al Amanecer," "Se Hace la Dificil," the trancey pulse of "Mas Dinero, Mas Mujeres, Mas Drama," the erotically tinged "Sexo, Sudor y Calor," and "Bailarina." There is also a salsa version of "Junto al Amanecer" that appears just before the darkly tinged banger "Date un Trago," which closes the set. Otro Nivel de Musica is a stunner; it should attract not only critics this time, but the record-buying public, and loads of club DJs and remix producers as well.
Otro Nivel de Musica Review
by Thom Jurek