The Last, Aventura

Sony, USA/Dominican Republic
Rating: 43
By Carlos Reyes

I don’t usually take the time to listen or write about such unconvincing artists like Aventura, but The Last is one of those releases we can’t ignore as they’re firm spots of the music tendencies surrounding the music we like. If you live outside the U.S. there’s a slight possibility that you’re unaware of Aventura, for us Hispanics in the states, they’re the successors of RBD in terms of popularity and fan-rage. But there’s more to Aventura than being the latest boy band storming across their Bachata-meets-R&B. They are giving Bachata a new face, injected some personality into contemporary tropical music and have a legit and quite talented leader with a voice that is perhaps too sweet to shine but effective nonetheless. It’s been 10 years since their highly ambitious but loopy debut Generation Next; since then, they’ve been walking themselves as the representatives of both, the Dominican Republic and The Bronx, New York. Their biggest strength comes with Anthony Romeo Santos; the singer, writer and producer that is fully aware of pop culture and still holds a hand reaching out to the state of mind of the urban Hispanic teenager. But, is it our answer to the “the definitive 21st-century New York musical act?”, Joey Rosen from The New York Times jumps in to answer that question for us, and although it hurts to agree with him, he’s not too far out claiming the ‘common’ radio-hit listener thinks of New York when listening to Aventura. Based on this assumption, it would be predictable to see Aventura as the one Latin act our Hispanic youth is embracing, and that’s just abominably sad.

The Last continues to bring very poorly constructed melodies; they don’t lack any passion but surely sound so sensationalistic even in Romeo’s overly sweet vocals. The sound did get better but they don’t grow a bit, it’s all very adolescent in composition and still terrified to step out of its zone or make anthem-songs. Bachata might not have enough performers and so media has given approval to a work that is overly flawed, but the most important thing to realize here is that Aventura is pop and they are making pop music, they’re not too far away from Reik in musical formation, they’re just wearing different clothing. “Intro” reminds me of those uncharismatic A.B. Quintanilla Presents Kumbia Kings skits that tried too hard to reaffirm their ego; Aventura manages to use their albums’ titles to make sure everyone knows they are “God’s Project.” Leading track “Por Un Segundo” is the common place Aventura visits in every single; a heartbroken song with diminutive wording with some bouncing covering plot holes. If they wanted a more notable song “Yo Quisiera Amarla” would’ve done the job just by the accurate spacing it gives itself after every sequence. This is the album to make ‘the breakthrough’ and so they have invited Ludacris, Wyclef Jean, Akon and Wisin & Yandel along, every guest falls short adjusting themselves to the swamp of melancholia that invades the quartet. For all these reasons The Last is tremendously tiring, I’m wishing for them to at least go back to “Mi Corazoncito”, their last and perhaps only great song in their catalog.