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Draco Rosa - 'Vida' CD Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Photo Courtesy Sony Music Latin

Draco Rosa - 'Vida'

Photo Courtesy Sony Music Latin

After fighting and winning the battle against cancer, Puerto Rican singer, songwriter and producer Draco Rosa is celebrating life with Vida, one of the most anticipated Latin music albums of 2013. Besides the personal reasons that inspired this work and the outstanding compilation of hits included in this 16-track CD, Vida features some of today's top Latin music stars in the world including artists like Shakira, Ricky Martin and Calle 13, among many more. Let's take a closer look at the music behind this duets-themed album.

Outstanding Latin Music Artists

The first thing that hits you about Vida is the amazing artist lineup that Draco Rosa brought into this production. In fact, more than the work from a single artist this album seems one of those music initiatives where a bunch of superstars get together to promote or celebrate a particular cause. That said, Draco Rosa definitely succeeded in his attempt to involve everyone in this celebration of life.

Although Vida is first and foremost a Latin Pop album, and the vast majority of the featured stars belong to that field, Draco Rosa was able to put together a group of artists whose diversity enhances the whole appeal of this production. From Salsa (Ruben Blades) and Bachata (Romeo Santos) to Latin Rock (Mana) and Urban music (Tego Calderon), the artists who took part in this project came from all kinds of Latin music genres.

Similarly, this outstanding lineup features a spectrum of stars ranging from legendary artists like Jose Feliciano, Andres Calamaro and Juan Luis Guerra to top contemporary megastars like Juanes, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Alejandro Sanz and Calle 13. In other words, this selected group of artists provided Vida with a solid base for success.

An Album Full of Surprises

Besides being a Latin Pop album, Vida is also a compilation work featuring some of the most popular hits recorded by Draco Rosa. Thanks to all the artists previously mentioned and others like Enrique Bunbury and Ednita Nazario, Vida has hit the market as one of the most interesting duets-themed albums recently released in Latin music.

Musically speaking, Vida offers a mature sound that is both reflective and mysterious. Along those lines, the overall quality of that sound is fantastic and one can easily imagine the professional standards of the team that produced this album. It is also quite easy to appreciate the enormous talent of all the musicians who participated in the recording of this album.

One of my favorite things about Vida is its 'generosity' in terms of musical arrangements. In fact, this is an album where every single song will surprise you in one way or the other. Whether that surprise is the elegant intro of "Blanca Mujer," the Flamenco flavor that surrounds "Como Me Acuerdo" or the tropical sound that adorns the second half of "Paraiso Prometido (Hay Que Llegar)," this album is full of nice, little touches that will make you appreciate music just the way it is.

Just for the record, I have to say I did not enjoy that much the last two tracks in the album featuring Latin Urban artists Tego Calderon ("Brujeria") and Calle 13 ("Madre Tierra"). Somehow, I think these two tracks sort of break the balance of everything that was done up to that point.

'Vida' - Bottom Line

After going through a life-threatening experience, Draco Rosa has come up with an album where he embraces the best of his repertoire alongside some of the most popular artists in the Latin music world. The result is an inspiring Latin Pop album whose mature sound is a very pleasant one.

Although Vida is a mainstream album, I am sure its elegant sound will also appeal to all of those who like to stay away from commercial music. The fact that there is nothing explosive or catchy in this work gives you a good idea of how much Draco Rosa wanted Vida to thrive on the quality of its sound and musical arrangements.

With Vida, Draco Rosa not only has given us the opportunity to celebrate life but also an outstanding work that very likely will be among the best Latin music albums of 2013.

'Vida' - Best Tracks

Record Label: Sony Music Latin
Release Date: March 18, 2013
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