Choosing the top ten new releases each month is going to be a bit of a challenge, since (in most cases) I haven't heard the albums yet. So what are these selections based on?
I'll be looking for popular artists that are sure to attract readers to their new music as well as artists I like that have a proven track record of producing quality Latin music. After that, we're all on our own until we have a chance to actually hear the music!
Daddy Yankee claims that El Cartel: The Big Boss, his first studio album since 2004's Barrio Fino will be a change of pace. With guest artists Fergie, Jim Jones, Akon, Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls and Will.I.am from the Black Eyed Peas, it's obvious that these are not the usual suspects. How different will it be?
"El Potrillo" is finally back with his first studio album since Corazon Abierto and the buzz is that he has another winner on his hands. The album was recorded in Argentina and Los Angeles with the help of producer Auriero Baqueiro, who also produced Corazon.
This album marks Fernandez' 15 year anniversary in the music business; that's not much time to become the legend that he is. It must have something to do with all that inherited talent.
Iglesias usually writes all the songs on his albums, and Insomniac is no exception. To get an idea of what's new on the bilingual album, take a look at some of the guest artists: rappers Lil' Wayne, Usher and Eminem, Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake. Personally, I can't wait.
Zion & Lennox have been a reggaeton staple since before 2004's Motivando A La Yal, their first album together. Now Zion (Felix Ortiz) has struck out on his own and Perfect Melody is his first solo effort, although he does get some help from Akon and Kumbia King's Cruz Martinez.
Watch "Zun Dada" video
Andy Montanez has been moving people's hearts and feet for over 45 years now. He started his career with El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, moved to Dimension Latina in the late 70s, then went on his own in 1980.
His last album, Salsa Con Reggaeton was one of the first that melded salsa with reggaeton and it was well done. I don't have much information about the new one, but with Montanez it's not much risk to put it in the top ten. I'm hoping for lots of salsa dura.
Sergio Mendes is releasing two albums on the same date, Homecooking and Sergio Mendes & The New Brasil '77. Shouldn't it be the New Brasil '07? Always an innovator, the albums are bound to be fun.
Lupillo Rivera is part of the Rivera family bloc of great Mexican singers with father Pedro, sister Jenni and brother Juan all participating in the tradition of dynamic corrido/banda music.
Pedro Infante is a legendary Mexican actor and singer. His particular brand of music was ranchera and boleros, so here's the question: is this album, a tribute to Infante, going to be straight Infante style or a fusion with Rivera's normal style?
This album is actually a re-release of Montaner's classic 1992 album. If you didn't catch it before, here's your second chance.
Elvis Crespo is probably the biggest selling merengue artist in the world, but he's been quiet for 3 years. Now the 'Boss is Back' with Regreso El Jefe, his first album for Machete Music. About time.
Listen to La Foto Se Me Borro
I decided to throw in a wild card with Argentina's electro-pop group, Miranda!
Named after silver screen-era actor Osvaldo Miranda, the group is all pop and glam. Although they're not that well known, you might try this lively and fun album. Take a peak at their website to see if this is music that would appeal to you.