Planeta Kumbia, A.B. Quintanilla Presenta Kumbia All Starz

PLANETA KUMBIA, Kumbia All Starz

by: Carlos Reyes

A.B. has officially lost it; the ultra ego that he had been carrying for years finally hit ground. His new album Planeta Kumbia, is by far the most uninspiring and self-destructive album of his discography. It can barely be called music; in fact there are only three tracks we could really talk about. The first single Por Ti Baby features a collaboration with Panama’s sensation Flex (aka Nigga), it is indeed a descent club shaker song that is unfortunately a misleading first single for such a tedious album. Are we asking for too much? No, but we must remember that Quintanilla Jr. had a delicious talent in manipulating his art in prior albums. It seems like the only thing he can offer now is an almost dried pile of smoothies that will probably disappoint his most loyal fans.

Can we call him a manipulator? Well, perhaps opportunistic will fit him better. See, it happens that in the past he could magically succeed with covers. They weren’t all awesome, but at least were well produced and managed somehow to connect with the album’s theme. There’s no such a thing here, perhaps is not ambitious enough to be taken seriously. Now he seems to be following the Duranguense genre and its addiction on taking past hits, mixing a little cumbia on it, and dropping a short urban phrase here and there. We can easily add Rica y Apretadita to the list of successful covers that although couldn’t be less creative, are nonetheless on popular demand.

We could also talk about a track that sums up Quintanilla’s current state of flair. Vuelve starts as a pathetic 90s boy band track, just when I was about to forward I heard an evangelic voice, my sense went from repulsion to optimism. Hearing the voice of Vicentico (Los Fabulosos Cadillac) in between all the crap was nothing but a true blessing, and the song even finds more strength with the company of La Mala Rodriguez. Both are gifted artists, both appeared in 2007’s best album, they should really start to be pickier with the artists they collaborate.

The rest of the album is an agonizing approach to boy-band R&B with a very dreadful choir of voices that have less vocal variability than a chicken in plain sex (WTF! indeed). Some will argue the album’s diversity of genres, but let's not mention cultural awarness, it touches eeverything from Vallenato to Ska, they never really bring sincerity or credibility to the songs. They only function as outfits. Here is hoping the producer and his unstable band manage to really bring it on upcoming productions.

Numeric Rating: 28/100

Key Tracks: Vuelve, Rica y Apretadita, Por Ti Baby