How does Juanes follow up his Über-successful 2002 album, "Un Dia Normal," and its anthemic hit, "A Dios le Pido"? By taking a route that incorporates the harder rock edge of his earlier disc,

How does Juanes follow up his über-successful 2002 album, "Un Dia Normal," and its anthemic hit, "A Dios le Pido"? By taking a route that incorporates the harder rock edge of his earlier disc, "Fijate Bien," with the optimism of "Un Dia Normal." The results vary. The single "Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor" and the beautiful "Volverte a Ver"—with its stark lyrics over beautiful cello lines—are a refreshing study in contrasts. Their strong melodies and well-crafted lyrics are vintage Juanes. But the mix of funk and rap in "Dámelo" is contrived, while the syncopated beats of the opening "Amame" never jell. Juanes may be at his best with down-and-dirty tracks like "La Camisa Negra" and "Rosario Tijeras," which are steeped in attitude, lyricism and melodic flair. While not as hit-driven as its predecessor, the very fine "Mi Sangre" showcases an artist who is here to stay.—LC

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print