The Bottom Line
NG2 is a young, Puerto Rican duo, but there is nothing young or inexperienced about their music. This salsa is original, engaging and just joyously good music. They bring so much richness to the album that it's sometimes tough to believe that Al Fin is only their second album.
- Great salsa with original comositions, first rate vocals and great instrumentals
- "Maldita Suerte", moving from rumba to salsa with verve
- 10 tracks of Puerto Rican salsa
- NG2's sophmore album, Sept. 2006
- Released by Discos 602 (Norte)
Guide Review - CD Review: NG2 - Al Fin
Puerto Rican duo NG2(squared) is Norberto Velez and Gerardo Rivas (son of Jerry Rivas of El Gran Combo). Al Fin is NG2's second album, following 2004's Comienzos. Both Velez and Rivas are ex-members of Victor Manuelle's orchestra, successfully striking out on their own. Six of the CD's tracks were written by Velez and his songs are faithful to a core Puerto Rican salsa style but, in addition, Velez' compositions add color, a little world music flavor and originality to the album.
The album's single, "Como Amigo No" did well on the charts and it's pretty irresistible with vallenato rhythms and accordion adding a touch of Colombia to the island salsa. "Se Nos Fue El Amor" is a ballad with the two voices both producing great harmonies as well as an echoing counterpoint."Amanecer Contigo" adds some hip hop styling to the basic salsa rhythm while "Se Nos Va La Vida" is pure ballad with a big band back-up and dynamic electric guitar solos giving it an almost r&b feel.
My favorite cut is "Maldita Suerte", a track that starts with guitar strumming out lyrical rumba and then bursts into a mambo-salsa with the crystal trumpet of Felipe Rodriguez adorning an already melodically and lyrically rich track.
But really, all ten tracks are beautifully conceived and executed with the maturity and tight performance that usually comes with years of making music together.I'm sure we'll be happily hearing a lot more from NG2.