Bachata Heightz

The First

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Riding high on the success of their hit single "Me Puedo Matar," Bachata Heightz made their full-length debut with The First, an urban-influenced bachata album that shows promise but offers few highlights. Founded in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, NY, the group is similar in style to Aventura, the reigning bachata group on the scene, and is led by Jerry García (aka Jay Heightz), who is not only the lead vocalist but also the primary songwriter. He's accompanied by Jeffrey Cruz (aka Jru; chorus vocals), Aneudy Hernandez (aka Chino; chorus vocals), Jonathan García (aka Da Phenomenon; guitar), and Diego Capellán (aka Dee Major; bass). The First begins promisingly enough with "Me Puedo Matar," a collaboration with merengue veteran Héctor Acosta that was previously released on his third solo album, Simplemente... El Torito (2009), and was a tropical music hit. Though Acosta released "Me Puedo Matar" on his album first, it's actually a Bachata Heightz song that was originally written by García. As great as it is, "Me Puedo Matar" is unfortunately one of the few highlights on The First. The subsequent song, "No Sabes del Amor," also stands out, but that's about it. For sure, the remaining songs on The First sound good while they're playing. Executive producers Jose Diaz and Alex Peña are both tropical music veterans with a knack for good sound, and they have an eager group of singers and musicians to work with here. The problem is not the sound or style of Bachata Heightz but rather the material. They have one really great song here but little else that stands out in the overcrowded contemporary bachata scene. Hopefully Bachata Heightz can come up with a stronger, more varied batch of songs on their second album. As it stands here to date, they're something of a one-hit wonder that sounds a lot like Aventura but lacks the material of that group.

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