“El Principe” of the “Salsa Romantica” released a romantic album that leans more towards Latin pop.
The contrast between the two albums is immediately apparent from the very 1st song “Locos Los Dos”, which is a great song to lead off the album as it sets the tempo for the rest of the recording. Luis Enrique was the Prince of the “Salsa Romantica” movement of the 90’s. Using romantic themes as its base, Luis Enrique continued to experiment and evolve his musical style, always pulling towards Latin pop but maintaining his Afro-Caribbean rhythm roots. I call the recent result of this evolution “Tropical Pop”.
For the 2011 release “Soy y Seré”, Luis Enrique invited “bachata” singer Prince Royce and Latin pop singer Alex Cuba to perform duets with him. He also had Sergio George as Producer for record label Top Stop Music, a division of Sony Music.
What I Like About “Soy y Seré”
With “Soy y Seré” Luis Enrique takes his Pop Salsa style much closer to the Latin pop side than ever before. This album seems more of a Latin pop album than a Salsa album. And yet, I do like that the music arrangements are aggressive and creative.
As a Salsa fan, my first reaction was that this album lacked the Salsa beat “Ciclos” had. But if you realize that Luis Enrique is evolving his style of music by continuing to experiment with a mix of Salsa with Latin pop, then you start to appreciate the creativity that went into this album. Soy y Seré’s 1st single “Dame De Tu Boca” has a more dynamic and aggressive tropical tempo, that makes you want to move your feet, although you may not know exactly how. It almost seems like a Bomba-Rock rhythm. “Locos Los Dos” also has rock elements mixed with tropical rhythms on a truly crazy love song.
Songs like “El Reto” and “Al Fin” have the essence of the Luis Enrique of the “San Juan Sin Ti” era. Same goes for “Una Fotografia” which uses a bomba rhythm as its base.
My favorites for the album are the title song, “Lo Que Fui Soy y Seré”, mostly for the message of its lyrics based on a tropical dynamic rhythm, and “Al Fin”, which keeps the Sergio George stamp we got to know with Marc Anthony and in Luis Enrique’s “Ciclos”.
The music in the album is of top quality, with elaborate arrangements which display great creative genius. The music in the album is not your typical “cookie-cutter” “Salsa Romantica” formula. Each arrangement is tailored-made for the song and message, which keeps the music fresh as you listen through the album. The sound quality in the recording is outstanding.
The vocal execution Luis Enrique continues to deliver with excellence. The guest appearances of Latin pop rising star Alex Cuba in “Deseos” and of “Bachata” sensation Prince Royce in “Sabes” add to the quality of the production. Both duets are very well done, with good taste on how and when to mix the voices during the songs.
From the musician’s side, there are no notable standouts. The music holistically is the centerpiece of the album, without the intent to highlight any of the excellent musicians that participate in it.
Suggestions for Luis Enrique About “Soy y Seré”
The only shortcoming that I can pinpoint to “Soy y Seré” is on my own expectation of the album. As I said, this album is a sort of “Pop-Salsa” album, or perhaps more accurately…”Tropical-Pop” album.
It’s hard to pick up a “son”-based song in “Soy y Seré”. For a Luis Enrique album, I come to expect a fusion Salsa album, but a Salsa album nevertheless. “Ciclos” was also a fusion album that leaned more toward the Salsa side. I was expecting more of that sort of fusion, but this album is clearly more Pop and although tropical, contains almost no Salsa.
Proof of this is that the songs “Deseos”, “Ave Sin Alas”, and “Sabes” are almost straight up Latin pop. Even further proof of the evolution from “Ciclos” is the fact that Luis Enrique brings the “Ciclos” fusion hit “Yo No Se Mañana” into “Soy y Seré” in a new Pop version.
Once you recalibrate your expectations that this is not a Salsa album, you can begin to really enjoy the creative “Tropical Pop” Luis Enrique brings us in “Soy y Seré”.
“Soy y Seré” is a well produced, excellently executed album that will likely please Luis Enrique fans with its trademark romantic themes immersed in creative “Tropical-Pop-Fusion” music. The romantic lyrics are mature and well delivered. The arrangements have a mix of dynamic tropical-pop-rock with straight-up Latin pop, which keeps the album music fresh as you listen to it.
I highly recommend “Soy y Seré” for those who can recalibrate their expectations that this will not be a Salsa album. Luis Enrique continues to push the line by creating and evolving his musical style, a mark shared by the best musical artists in any genre, which are never content with creating more of the same over and over, even if commercially successful.
“Soy y Seré” establishes the “Prince of Salsa” as the “King of Tropical Pop”.
Note: photo by Walmart’s Acceso Total