Thursday, August 21, 2008

Residente Calle 13 / Residente o Visitante

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"The fine line between a fad and authenticity has put reggaetón in a delicate situation. As Latin hip-hop continues to gain popularity, the style must evolve to avoid a lethal backlash. Sure, it has its share of superstars, like Daddy Yankee and Don Omar, but a viable alternative is needed to keep things interesting. This is where Calle 13 comes in. The Puerto Rican duo, consisting of half-brothers “Residente” Rene Pérez and “Visitante” Eduardo Cabra, released their eponymous debut album in 2005, garnering plenty of critical accolades, including three Latin Grammys, for their sophomorically humorous, yet intellectually engaging form of hip-hop. And with the slow rise of the cumbia-tinged “Atrévete-te-te!,” perhaps the single best reggaetón song in the genre’s young history, Calle 13 has spent the past year basking in the glow as the “next big thing.”

Luckily, Calle 13 doesn’t seem to care for superlatives. Rather than quarantine themselves into a studio trying to prevent lightning from escaping the bottle, they hurriedly recorded Residente o Visitante. Aided by esteemed Rock en Español producer (and recent Academy Award-winner) Gustavo Santaolalla, the album streamlines the reckless experimentation of their debut album into something more refined, more cerebral. Stripping down the cornerstones of reggaetón—percussion sounds and ubiquitous “Dem Bow” rhythm—the duo creates complex song structures all but foreign to mainstream pop. The effect is to shift the listener’s attention to the charismatic Residente, whose oblique and uproarious performance is a revelation." (from

Even with it's funny, unique and a wholelottabadwordsinit style, he definetly achieves what he wanted. A great album with a "flow" of it's own. You should: A. Learn spanish and listen to this album or B. listen to it really hard even if you don't know what it means.
Either way, listen to it.

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