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40 people found this helpful
on July 27, 2013
Marc Anthony has set the bar very high previously and vocally I think this is best performance ever... the phrasing and nuances in tone are tremendous... I mean i'm listening to this album purely because Marc's voice has never sounded this dark (in a good way).
BUT, there is a massive problem and that problem is largely Marc's decision to choose Sergio George. This production fails to achieve for 3 core reasons and Sergio and Marc have to be held to account for all of them.
1) The salsa arrangements are bland and all the songs sound the same (except Vivir Mi Vida which is really a pop song and La Copa Rota which is a bolero). Sergio is capable of more as he showed with DLG's debut, La India's "Dicen Que Soy", Marc Anthony's "Todo A Su Tiempo" and more recently Luis Enrique's "Ciclos". Sergio seems to perform better when he is inspired by a new artist or a comeback artist, Marc is neither of those. Also, people should remember that "Contra La Corriente" was produced and arranged by Angel "Cucco" Pena not Sergio and that has been the best album of Marc's career.
2) All the tracks have clearly been produced to be radio-friendly and time in at around 4 mins. So i'm listening to this album and the songs seem to finish in a rushed manner and I realise it's because the call and response sections have been cut to about 1 min. As such the section where typically you'd get 2-3 mins of interplay and improvisation between the brass section, rhythm section, and singers just never happen. Have a look at the timings on Marc's previous salsa albums and you'll see what I mean.
3) Marc is now such a superstar Sergio (and maybe any other producer) can't influence him like he used to. I'm thinking that some sports stars become so big that the ego makes it hard for even an experienced manager to control them. I'm not saying Marc has a huge ego (I really don't know) but clearly it's the job of the producer to guide an album and an artist to achieve results. I'm not sure whether Marc has become too big and Sergio couldn't do that or whether it's Sergio not trying hard enough or being strong enough to influence Marc. Either way, the results speak for themselves. In interviews Marc talks about he and Sergio finish each other sentences and they are on the same page musically and I feel like that's an issue on this album... Marc should be pushed to achieve something else, greatness comes from the friction of ideas. It's pretty clear on this album that neither Marc or Sergio were being pushed to do something greater.
I'm just calling it how I see it. This is Marc Anthony and this album is an event. You expect much much more. I feel like too many salsa producers from PR and NY/Miami are doing the same same production line salsa... is it too much to ask that Marc and other bigger name salsa artists set the standard and look further afield (like Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, etc) for a producer that may shake them up a bit and produce something different???