Jowell & Randy - El Momento

El Momento, Jowell & Randy
Machete Music, Puerto Rico
Rating: 60
By Carlos Reyes

We value much of Reggaeton’s aesthetics for their campy value more than anything else. When in excess, the ‘blinblineo’ panache goes from the campy to the douchebag (I’m looking at you Wisin & Yandel), but among Reggaeton’s new voices we find interesting characters taking the aesthetics to a whole new level. Perhaps too hipsterish for the average RockEnEspañol aficionado, but if you’ve enjoyed the genre’s most authentic artists (Arcangel, Alex & Fido, Voltio) make sure to give Jowell & Randy a chance. Their music quality is itself decent, but the whole package is quite enjoyable and even reminiscent to the Mad Decent culture.

No genre builds so much drama on the introduction track than Reggaeton; the “Intro” of El Momento is not the exception. It’s a blast pushing play and hear celestial monk music adorn a reggaeton beat and hilarious lines such as “vamo’ a tirarlos para arriba y esperarlos con el P#&!* bien parao” or “tu me la mamaste y de mi flow te enamoraste.” The intro is followed by the surprisingly titled “Goodbye,” an enjoyable groove that fails in becoming great by a few inches, but mostly because its chorus reminds me of Shakira’s “Waka Waka.” Things get immediately better with the dazzling “Suave y Lento” featuring Wisin, Tico and Franco El Gorila, producers Nesty and Victor “El Nazi” Marioso do some wonderful synths here, although almost ruined by Wisin redundant promo towards the end of the track. As entertaining as most songs are here, none of them reach the catchiness of "Siente El Boom," their collaboration with Tito El Bambino.

“Chica de Novela” picks up on what many would consider to be the ideal narrative, Telenovelas. It’s a got a blowy feel to it that makes the song very likable, closer to Los Rakas but holding on its dream-girl adolescent foundation, “vivir con ella es como si hubieran camaras, luces, accion, como si el mundo nos estuviera viendo.” Even more memorable is “Mi Dama de Colombia” a fun anecdote on love at first sight. To many people’s shock, Puerto Rico’s emblematic reggae band Cultura Profetica collaborates in “Solo Por Ti,” the best track in the album and Jowell & Randy’s heart-on-their-sleeves moment. Jowell & Randy won’t change the Reggaeton for the better and are definitely not a sign of hope for the collapsing genre, what they do offer is a courteous distraction from all the crappy albums we’ve been getting lately.