Menudo

Un Poco Mas

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The legacy of Menudo--a Puerto Rican vocal group originally founded in 1977 that produced the likes of Ricky Martin and was a precursor of groups like New Edition and the Backstreet Boys--is carried on by four fresh-faced young Latinos with a new, "evolved" moniker: MDO. This time it's Anthony, Didier, Abel, and Daniel, hailing from Venezuela, Cuba, Texas, and the Dominican Republic, respectively, tugging at young girls' heartstrings with a pastiche of pop artifice that ranges from '80s club styles to Euro-flamenco pop arrangements.

The four sing excellent harmonies, and generally present their material without over-emoting. There's even one tune, "Groove With Me Tonight," performed in such flawless English you'd never guess they were Latin pop stars. While their big hit, "No Puedo Olvidar," is quite serviceable both in its contempo-pop and ballad versions, MDO show flashes of promise with songs like "Baila La Rumba," anchored by flamenco flourishes, and "Un Mundo Nuevo," up-tempo dance pop with an almost poetic sentiment. Still MDO is most fulfilled in "Toma mis Manos," in which they beseech dream girls to "tie me to your bodyàdo what you will." It's a perfect distillation of that syrupy-safe kinkiness that permeates the Latin pop sensibility.

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