Wisin y Yandel Demonstrate They Have Nothing To Prove With New Album.
La Roja and I started listening to the Puerto Rican duo, Wisin y Yandel around 2006, and like so many of the artistas we obsess over…I mean, listen to…we had high expectations for their July 3rd release, Lideres. Luckily (and not surprisingly) these guys haven’t disappointed, but have given fans an album that suggests quite simply they don’t have anything to prove.
The stand out feature of Lideres is how different it is from their earlier work. While the overall vibe is undoubtedly Wisin y Yandel, it is much more laid back than what we’re used to hearing. They have integrated slower beats and more pop elements that make the fifteen tracks more of a fusion of sounds than only the hard edge of reggaeton. Granted, I love the hard-edged reggaeton…but I’m loving this laid back fusion tambien.
“Un Beso” might be the perfect example of what I’m talking about…the song is almost surprisingly pop-ish, but then they break into it with their signature rapid-fire rap bringing in that WyY sabor we all know and love. This creates a kind of musical hybrid that is unique to what we are hearing from others on the scene right now (there is even a distinctly island-ish flute element…adding another layer). You can really hear these pop influences in the other songs too like “Tu Nombre“, “No Te Detengas“, “Una Bendicion“, “Noche de Carnaval” y “Algo Me Gusta de Ti” (There are two versions of this one, and I prefer the non-Chris Brown/T-Pain edition).
Then there is their collaboration with Jennifer Lopez, on their sexy single “Follow the Leader“. Sure, JLo has a long history of working with rappers, but she is still situated squarely in the mainstream pop/dance music elite. (Side note: La Roja and I were thrilled about this track. I mean c’mon on…JLO + WyY? Pure genius…if only they were still touring together…). So, it definitely marks a new path for these guys. It’s true they’ve collaborated with other pop stars, like Enrique Iglesias and Nelly Furtado, but they’ve never done it to promote their own album this heavily before. They are clearly reaching for a wider demographic, and they are doing a really good job at it.
Listening to the album as a whole, its easy to see that single and the other pop infused hybrids fit in perfectly together with the other tracks for one complete product, and this is because WyY, like many other reggaetoneros (Daddy Yankee y Don Omar, I’m looking at you.) are choosing to evolve. It seems often in the music business, we see artists who are less invested in their work and are only trying to offer what will sell records or maybe too scared to push boundaries, but this is not WyY. They are toeing this line really well by giving listeners what they want but by also staying true to who they are. And in this, WyY really do live up to the title the album claims…the duo have positioned themselves as musical lideres.