Dan Den

Ven a Mi

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    5
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Seven years after their major-label debut, the Cuban salseros of Dan Den released their third record, Ven a Mi, fronted by a new lead singer, Rolando. After some very auspicious beginnings, the tone of Dan Den's music went slowly from aggressive and vibrant to relaxed, even subdued. The content on Ven a Mi is less than energetic. It seems to be striving toward refined, and in the process ended up stiff. Perhaps the weak, thin sound production of the record contributes to its somewhat limp quality. The color of the record is a marked departure from previous projects, which could be in part due to a label change to Lideres. The horn writing throughout, featuring their hallmark all-trombone lineup, is a good reflection of the character of the whole record: well done is slightly boring. Their performances throughout are solid but not inspired. Everyone is doing his job, yet no one is playing his heart. Perhaps longtime musical director Juan Carlos Alfonso has found his solo projects more rewarding. Whatever the cause, Ven a Mi seems to miss the mark. They phoned this one in.

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