Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Last is the fifth studio album by the Bachata group Aventura, released on June 9, 2009. In the "Intro" of this album, Anthony Santos states that this could possibly be their last album. The Last became the top selling Latin album of 2009.
The Last debuted at number ten in the U.S. Billboard 200 with sales of 37,000 units, the act's best sales week ever. The album also arrived at number-one on the Top Latin Albums chart, where it became their first chart-topper and holding the number one position for 16 non-consecutive weeks on the top Latin charts and becoming the best selling Latin album of 2009. The group had charted three previous top five sets there. The album has sold more than 300,000 copies on USA. Aventura made history when "The Last" debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
"The self-styled 'Kings of Bachata' are back with what may be their last bachata-focused album. Aventura's huge popularity has not been based on a large volume of music, but The Last is so good that bachata fans can only hope it is NOT their last.
The quality of Aventura's new album seems to have been overshadowed by questions of whether or not the popular urban bachata group is breaking up. There's the title as well as several tracks on the album that hint at a break-up without clarifying anything; finally, there are the rumors and interviews that the group has given.
It's pretty clear that Anthony 'Romeo' Santos will be pursuing a solo career but the question of whether Aventura will be around to perform, as a group, is still murky.
But with a release this good, the best Aventura has delivered to date, it's time to talk about the music.
Unlike many bachateros that vocally strong-arm their way through a song, Romeo Santos is a sweet-voiced crooner equally comfortable singing in Spanish or English. About half of the album consists of bachatas sung solo by Romeo while the rest of the group provides instrumental back-up begging the questions: isn't this already a solo career? Some of Santos' lyrics deal with the traditional romantic view of love and loss while there's an edge to others: "Su Vida" is a song about a prostitute accompanied by more of a rock style while "Peligro" rants about a woman who cares about nothing but money.
There's a change of pace with "Mi Casita.", done as a salsa and the final "Gracias" which adopts a merengue style with Dominican Giovanny Polanco on accordion.
The two tracks that move into a more urban territory are an effective R&B/rap version of "Spanish Fly" featuring Wyclef Jean and Ludacris, sung in Spanglish, and the break-out single "All Up 2 U" with reggaeton's Akon & Wisin y Yandel. If you love bachata, this is an album you will treasure not just as 'The Last' but as 'The Best' of Aventura." - LatinMusic.About
"Recently mega star group Aventura, a.k.a. the Kings of Bachata, released what has been rumored to be their last album. This new album, ironically named "The Last", combines their original sound while infusing all the growth they've done since their formation in 1994.
For those who don't know much about spanish music, Aventura's music is primarily a style of music called bachata, which originated in the rural areas of the Domincan Republic. Combined with it's own special dance (curious? Lessons to step your latin game up here) bachata has recently exploded on the latin music scene, now equalizing popularity with the heavily popular other styles of latin music and dance including salsa and merengue. In this genre today, Aventura is by far the most widely known and famous bachata group, revolutionizing the genre by infusing aspects of music they grew up on in the Bronx including hip-hop, R&B, and the newly mainstream reggaeton.
When one starts off listening to the album they are instantly drawn in. In the intro, Romeo (the lead singer), states that this may be the last Aventura album and that it has been an amazing experience for the past 15 years. The second track, "Por Un Segundo" is the first single off the album. Infusing a sort of arabic vibe with latin roots, the song has been a massive smash, shooting up the charts to number on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks, where it stayed for and entire week. The 12th track on the album, "All Up To You" is the second single. This massive club hit has been played out due to the guest appearances of Akon and super reggaeton duo Wisin Y Yandel and the ever growing popularity of auto-tune, which lead singer Romeo invokes on this track.
Aside from the singles, there are many tracks that stand out on this album. Some of which include the romantic "Dile Al Amor", the real talk "El Malo", the beautifully composed "Su Veneno" which incorporates amazing spanish guitar riffs, the amazing love-inspiried "Tu Juguito", the amazingly produced and written "Spanish Fly" which includes the guest vocals of Mr. Fugee himself Wyclef Jean and the ever amazing talents of Ludacris who actually pulls out the spanish on this one, the warning of "Peligro", the previously popular through way of radio-leak, "El Desprecio", the rock-infused "Su Vida", the ballad of "Soy Hombre", and of course the end track which combines the many different styles of latin music into one including an ending skit, "Gracias".
All these songs, even with the skits, combine to create an album that is truly amazing. A definite must-buy for all latin music fans or fans trying to diverse their music tastes. I highly recommend it, giving it a 6 out 5 stars just because I can. This album is a fabulous, unrelenting masterpiece, dealing with love, life and fun. From start to finish, there is not one song I hate, a true classic album." - Stack&Dreams
Personnel: Noa Neve, Giselle Moya (vocals); Eric 'Bori' Rivera (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Wilmore "Bimbo" Franco, Lenny Santos (guitar); Gerry Grimaud Jr. (acoustic guitar, background vocals); William Jose Brito (saxophone); Joaquin Diaz (piano, synthesizer); Romeo (keyboards, sound effects, background vocals); Joshua Mateo (keyboards, sound effects); Max Santos (bass instrument); Guillermo Frias (congas); Leonardo Reyes, Raul Biel (bongos); Enrique Guira, Albert Batista, Radhames Rey (guiro); Frank Junior Inoa (tambora); Henry Jeter (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Gerry Grimaud Jr.
Arrangers: Eric 'Bori' Rivera; Romeo; Lenny Santos.
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