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Romeo Santos - 'Formula Vol. 1' CD Review

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Photo courtesy Sony U.S. Latin

Romeo Santos - 'Formula Vol. 1'

Photo courtesy Sony U.S. Latin

Even before hitting the market, Formula Vol. 1 was already a music sensation among Bachata fans. Romeo Santos, the former lead singer of the Bachata boy band Aventura, has delivered a very strong album that is set to stay on top of music charts for the rest of this year.

Because of the already huge popularity surrounding Formula Vol. 1, I would not be surprised if Rome Santos gathers several music awards nominations next year. Although it was released towards the end of 2011, Formula Vol. 1 is already one of the most popular Latin albums of the year. By bringing a strong influence of Latin Pop, Hip-Hop and R&B sounds, Romeo Santos is shaping the modern appeal of one of the most popular genres in Latin music. The following is the review of Formula Vol. 1, Romeo Santos's first solo album.

Music Influences and Guests

Formula Vol. 1 consolidates the sound Romeo Santos developed with Aventura. This time, however, influences from R&B, Hip-Hop and Latin Pop are felt in a most defined way thanks in part to the group of guests Romeo Santos brought to this production.

Because of the different musical influences it touches, Formula Vol. 1 is not only an album that fits into the Bachata realm but also into the Latin Urban sphere. In other words, Formula Vol. 1 moves Bachata closer to Latin Urban music.

Some of the artists who are featured in this work include R&B superstar Usher, Mario Domm from Latin Pop trio Camila, Flamenco guitarist Tomatito, Latin Urban singer La Mala Rodriguez and the famous rappers Pitbull and Lil Wayne. However, since the album is mainly about Bachata music, Romeo Santos also invited well known artists of this genre including Anthony "El Mayimbe" Santos and Raulin Rodriguez.

"You" and "Promise"

The popularity surrounding Formula Vol. 1 started way before its official release. Thanks to the songs "You" and "Promise," Romeo Santos was able to create huge expectations about his solo debut album. On the one hand, "You" reaffirms Romeo Santos's romantic appeal, which is also incorporated into many of the songs included in the CD.

On the other hand, "Promise" is not only one of the best collaborations on this album but also one of the best tracks from this production. Alongside Usher, Romeo Santos is able to fit in a very nice way Bachata, R&B and Latin Pop into this song. The combination of Spanish and English lyrics adds a special touch to this work.

Best Bachata Songs

Besides "Promise," there are other interesting songs on this album. "La Diabla," the second track of Formula Vol. 1, introduces this album in a solid way. After a nice guitar intro, this song brings one of the best Bachata singles on this album. In "La Diabla" Romeo Santos remains loyal to the original flavor of Bachata.

Another of my favorite tracks from Formula Vol. 1 is "La Bella y La Bestia". This is one of the tracks where Romeo Santos let us listen to a more mature sound. Even though the single is definitely Bachata, the song sort of sounds like a nice Bolero especially during the first half. I think this is one of the best tracks from this album.

In terms of Bachata, Romeo Santos got it right with "Debate De 4," featuring Anthony "El Mayimbe" Santos, Luis Vargas and Raulín Rodríguez. This is a nice Bachata song that maintains the flavor of the original rhythm. Although Formula Vol. 1 has more to do with the future of Bachata music, this track shows Romeo Santos's respect for the origional roots of this rhythm.

Latin Urban Appeal

There are several songs that give Formula Vol. 1 a more Urban appeal. Besides singles like "Promise" where Bachata is mixed with other rhythms such as R&B, tracks like "Magia Negra," featuring La Mala Rodriguez and "All Aboard," featuring Lil Wayne, are more defined by non-Bachata sounds including Dance, Latin Pop, Hip-Hop and Rap.

'Formula Vol. 1' - Bottom Line

Romeo Santos's first solo album is a solid work that will please mainstream fans. The Bachata singer enhances his romantic appeal and consolidates a more Urban sound that combines Bachata with different genres. Overall, Formula Vol. 1 represents a solid first step for Romeo Santos's solo career and establishes this singer as one of the most influential names in Latin music today.

'Formula Vol. 1' - Best Tracks

Record Label: Sony Music Latin
Release Date: November 8, 2011

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