Next time Latin music critics decide to trivialize Latin pop, they might want to listen to Obie Bermúdez's new album.

Next time Latin music critics decide to trivialize Latin pop, they might want to listen to Obie Bermúdez's new album. Call it contemporary Latin pop; an album that has no rock aspirations yet manages to be neither musically saccharin nor lyrically trite. "Todo el Año" is mostly about love and yearning, but the songs—all either written or co-written by Bermúdez—are colloquial, almost chatty. The vast amount of production, however, places Bermúdez apart from the earthier, Latin songwriter mode. This is radio-friendly material, some of it tropical-tinged ("Sabes Bien," "Dos Locos") and other areas touched by rock and blues. Bermúdez is in finer voice than ever. He is also more emotional, sometimes in a style that is reminiscent of Marc Anthony, but he retains his distinctive sound. Aside from the first single (the title track), faves include the achingly lovely "Cómo Pudiste." Only the lyrically naïve "Chapulín" falls short in this very fine collection that should solidify Bermúdez's standing in the Latin pop world.—LC

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