The Bottom Line
For his first album in 10 years, El Malo Vol. 2: Prisioneros Del Mambo is a sparkling, contemporary collection of songs that once again reflect what a treasure Latin music has in Willie Colon. A mix of his signature salsa and contemporary Puerto Rican rhythms, Colon got busy updating his skills by adding synthesizer and rap to his already large musical repertoire. His voice may have matured (and that’s a good thing) but his music is as young as it ever was.
- Innovative, creative blend of salsa and newer Puerto Rican rhythms
- As always, Colon tells a good story with his lyrics
- Those looking for pure Nuyorican salsa might not like fusion
- 13 tracks of salsa/Afro-Boricua fusion
- First Colon album in 10 years
- Released November 2008 by Lone Wolf
Guide Review - Review: Willie Colon - 'El Malo Vol II: Prisioneros Del Mambo'
El Malo Vol. II: Prisioneros Del Mambo is both a tribute to the past and a high-energy roller coaster ride to present day Puerto Rican rhythms and styles. You’ll still find Colon’s signature heavy trombone bass note and irresistible Nuyorican salsa in plena-based “El Brujo,” You’ll still find his winning way with a story and social commentary in numbers like “Narcomula.” And although Colon has a Ricky Nelson/”Garden Party” attitude towards continually being asked to sing old standards, his 4-song tribute to friend Hector Lavoe is both heart-felt and poignant.
But enough about the past. Colon has coined the term ‘Afro-Boricua’ to the popular rhythms currently coming out of Puerto Rico and he boldly goes forward fusing the music he does so well with reggaeton’s dem bow beat, hip hop and even demonstrates an impressive facility with rap. As in everything he does, Colon doesn’t just dabble with this fusion; he intricately weaves it into the instrumentation and vocal style and emerges with an innovative sound that’s so natural you would have a difficult time believing that trombones aren’t naturally associated with hip hop and that he hasn’t always been rapping.
This is a brilliant, infectious and contemporary album that proves ‘once a master, always a master.’