Draco Rosa’s “Vida” Album Review


Draco Rosa’s all-duet album “Vida” was released in March 2013 to very high acclaim. “Vida” is both, a collection of some of Draco’s best hits, and duets with a who’s who in Latin music.

Not many Latin music albums can enlist Latin music stars that go from Shakira to Tego Calderon. And in-between there is Juan Luis Guerra, Ruben Blades, Jose Feliciano, Marc Anthony, Maná, Ricky Martin, Alejandro Sanz, Ednita Nazario and more.

The album title “Vida” is a reference to the life changing experience Draco Rosa recently went through when he was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma cancer near his liver on April 25, 2011. The album release was thus postponed from the originally scheduled November 2012 to the eventual March release.

The 1s single of the album, “Penelope” (featuring Mexican rock group Maná) was released on September 2012. The next single was the much anticipated reunion of the ex-Menudos, when “Mas y Mas” was released in January 2013, and they performed together live in February during the “Premios Lo Nuestro” telecast. “Mas y Mas” has an urban version (exclusively available through iTunes) and a dark version (exclusively available through Walmart).

What I Liked About “Vida”

• Duets with Latin music stars – for me the most impressive aspect of the album is the duets with 16 Latin music stars. Being able to assemble such talent in one album is amazing.
• Draco Best Songs – the album also serves as a nice collection of some of Draco’s favorite songs, which, unless you are a true follower of Draco, is unlikely that you will have.
• Poetic lyrics – I’m only an occasional listener of Draco’s music, and I’m most familiar with the songs has written for Ricky Martin (“Maria”, “Livin La Vida Loca”, and “She Bangs”). This album reminds us the amazingly poetic songwriting Draco is capable of.
• My favorite songs are “Esto es Vida” (feat. Juan Luis Guerra), “Penelope” (feat. Maná), and “Mas y Mas” (feat. Ricky Martin).
• “Esto es Vida” reminds me of John Lennon’s song writing. It’s a beautiful love song, very low key and subtle.

Below is the Premios Billboard live performance of “Penelope” featuring Maná:

Suggestions to Draco Rosa on “Vida”

• Dark album – not surprisingly, this album is very dark, but again, this is a reflection of Draco’s work. The songs are mostly melancholic, some almost to the point of depression. Even the album cover art is dark!
• For instance, “Vagabundo” goes….
“En un lugar desierto creí morir de sed
y un animal preñado de luz me dio de beber”. Yikes!!!

“Vida” Album Recommendation

Draco Rosa and Ricky Martin.
Draco Rosa and Ricky Martin during the filming of “Mas y Mas”

This is a fantastic album to get to know the music of Draco if you are not a Draco follower. It brings together some of the best voices in Latin music to sing duets of his hand-picked songs. If you are already familiar with the work of Draco, you will definitely love this album.

I’m on the fence on this one. On one hand I like the duets and the poetic songwriting of Draco, but on the other hand, the melancholic dark style of music is not for me.

If “Vida” where a movie, it would be a scary movie with a Love theme. I don’t like scary movies. When I go to the movies, I go to have fun, not to get scared. My preference is for comedy or action, and the occasional drama. However, the reason I like “Esto es Vida” and “Mas y Mas” are because they are the most upbeat songs of the album. I like the love themes, but prefer more upbeat music.

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