Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Music

Record Rack

** 1/2 ELVIS CRESPO, "Wow Flash!," Sony Discos

November 26, 2000|ERNESTO LECHNER

The most interesting element about both "Suavemente" and "Pintame," the albums that made Crespo an international merengue sensation, was their relentlessness. The Puerto Rican singer modernized the trademark dance from the Dominican Republic while still maintaining the sticky, feverish intensity that makes merengue so irresistible.

Those albums, however, sounded dangerously similar, which may explain why Crespo decided to switch gears for this third outing. He slows down some of the tempos, searches for extra layers of subtlety in the orchestrations, and even flirts with Spanglish on the tepid title track. While it is certainly well-produced and brimming with ideas, the album sounds tame next to the raucous fun of its predecessors.

The charismatic Crespo has retained some of his magic. "Me Mata" indulges in some flourishes of Arabic exotica, while "No Me Olvidaras" follows a sinuous instrumental section with a pop crescendo of creamy vocal harmonies. And by tackling Joe Arroyo's Colombian standard "La Noche," Crespo shows that he is willing to look for interesting material beyond his own genre. "Wow Flash!" might be a bit of a disappointment, but it doesn't shake Crespo's credibility as a major Latin artist.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|