Daddy Yankee - Mundial

Mundial, Daddy Yankee
Sony US Latin, Puerto Rico

Rating: 40

By Carlos Reyes

Reggaeton’s departure from its own beat is both, a sad inevitable outcome and a good intentioned resource for the better (?). Personally, I enjoy the dembow more than the current electronics or merengue-induced hybrids coming out of the genre. Not to be a purist, I realize the popular genre is at an emergency zone, desperate to evolve, but the path towards that desired land is rocky to say the least. Like it or not, Daddy Yankee is still the leading man, perhaps not “El Mejor de todos los Tiempos” as the first track from his ninth studio album Mundial suggests, but in vein and influence, Ramon “Raymond” Ayala is still on top. He grabbed four spots on our Best Reggaeton Songs list; we clearly give him enough credit and suspension of disbelief, his new album is a big disappointment, kind of frustrating considering his last album-soundtrack Talento Barrio was brainy all around.

Yankee had every intentional of making “Grito Mundial” the official anthem for FIFA’s South Africa World Cup, but that wasn’t going to happen with Shakira and K’naan sharing the same desire. While the song is cheesy and kind of ridiculous, it sounds giant, a blueprint for stadium-scale landscape. That’s the main problem in the album, most songs are preoccupied with making statements, or even worst, most of them force themselves into presenting a new genre, not realizing Urban has been blending with the dance floor for decades. Yankee always triumphs picking up his singles; “Descontrol” is once again, the proper single, but the fact that it’s so scrawny forefronts what’s to expect in an ultimately forgettable album.

Mundial’s renowned producers Eli “El Musicologo” and Menes “Los De La Nazza” are better producers than Luny Tunes, but not as fun and definitely not as graciously campy. It’s hard to read just how much of the album’s flaws belong to Yankee, his middling artistic qualities seem to be settled. I’m not sure if he is saying “lover” or “loba” on “Que Es La Que Hay”, but it might be referencing Shakira’s “Loba” and Ricky Martin on the same song. But the artist and his producers do a wonderful job in elevating up-scale songs like the very entertaining “Vida En La Noche”, which smells like a hit; “asi es que se vive en la ciudad, una selva de cemento.” One thing is for sure, I might not be able to forgive him for roaring “ferocious” to make it rhyme with “guns n roses”, the same way I don’t forgive Jason Mraz for giving us his “bestest.”