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Calle 13: Entren Los Que Quieran [PA]

Track List

>Calma Pueblo
>Baile de Los Pobres
>Vuelta al Mundo, La
>Bala, La
>Vamo'a Portarnos Mal
>Latinoamerica - (featuring Maria Rita/Susana Baca)
>Inter-En Annunakilandia
>Digo lo Que Pienso
>Muerte en Hawaii
>Todo Se Mueve - (featuring Seun Kuti)
>Hormiguero, El
>Preparame La Cena

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Entren Los Que Quieran (English: Enter Those Who Wish) is the fourth studio album from Puerto Rican duo Calle 13. It was released on November 22, 2010.

The album was released on November 22, 2010. The singles "Calma Pueblo" and "Vamo' a Portanos Mal" have been released to theiTunes Music Store. Visitante explained that the title of the album means that "Everyone's invited to enter. If you don't want to, well don't."He also stated that the album continues to experiment with different styles of music, with collaborations with Omar Rodríguez-López fromThe Mars Volta on "Calma Pueblo", giving the song a "Beastie Boys vibe." He stated that there would also be influences from Bollywood and South American rhythms.

"Placing yourself into any sort of zeitgeist isn't fundamentally difficult (see any number of reality television "stars"), but maintaining your place in the cultural cognizance without shredding either your dignity or your integrity is, for all but a select few, virtually impossible. Yet here's the point that the boys of Calle 13 find themselves in at this exact moment. If their career trajectory dovetailed quite nicely with the stagflation of the reggaetón era, their present situation finds them as the acknowledged flag-wavers of Latin pop music's infantry. No longer are they the sharp upstarts here to save the radio from watered-down yet insanely popular Luny Tunes productions and N.O.R.E.'s racial-identity conflict. No longer are they so chic and buzzworthy that they won't even return M.I.A.'s phone calls. No longer are they the best band in the world that your grandfather has never heard of. Today, they are the sound of Latin hip-hop; they are the mainstream; they are your grandfather's favorite "young" group; the once-underdog now the establishment.

So how does Calle 13 react to their place at the top of the mountain as the inevitable backlash sets in? The way any of us would: by throwing a party as grand and glitzy as Rick Ross's watch. There's a sense of pretension and bravado that embeds Entren los Que Quieran, with taunts daring you to ignore what's to follow. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that Calle 13 tackles any potential backlash head-on by opening the album with its most polarizing track, the Mars Volta-assisted "Calma Pueblo." Much of the disdain surrounding the song deals with its admittedly hard-to-defend lyrics, which are ignorantly polemic, at-worst, or misguided and vain at the least (see the Adidas shout-out). Yet, listening only to what's going on behind those lyrics, it's certainly one of the most interesting infusions of hard rock in modern hip-hop - though how much you actually like said music will depend on your tolerance for the Mars Volta. Possible wariness continues with the next two songs, which find Residente at his most hit-or-miss, straddling the line between pre and post-retirement Eminem, and swinging at far too much low hanging fruit - though Visitante doesn't exactly help things with beats so nondescript you begin to recognize why this record premiered on NPR.

What follows is the very good-not-great Spaghetti Western-influenced "La Bala," whose vehemently anti-violence lyrics provide the first instance on the record of the irreverent populism that Residente does better than any other rapper; this is followed by "Vamo' a Portamos Mal," which I would love to say sounds like the stepchild of Rita Indiana and Gogol Bordello, except it's not as effortless as either of the above, but at the least there's finally a song you can dance to. However, just when you'd be right to ponder jumping on the anti¬-Entren los Que Quieran bandwagon, Calle 13 throws up a happy floater to close the first half in the form of "Latinoamérica." A sparkling, almost gorgeous ode to Latin America and those who've sprouted from its lands, it's here where Calle 13 stop forcing their statements, instead painting their passions with a easel full of blood while avoiding the self-serving neurosis that dragged down the earlier tracks.

After a brief interlude, the show continues - and this time, we finally see some fireworks. "Digo lo Que Pienso" provides us with our heartiest belly laughs yet, along with a beat that seemingly combines Bollywood strings with DJ Premier scratching (and it's about damn time, too). "Muerte en Hawaii" stacks up subversion like building blocks, from its winking stereotypical ukulele and island sounds, to its seemingly random name-checking (GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ!), to its fanciful story (complete with talking animals), and its somehow fitting ending. Really, someone call Bigott and tell him that they've stolen his schtick and improved upon it. "Todo Se Mueve" is accompanied by a strut and guitar lick worthy of the Meters, while "El Hormiguero" provides enough rock for those rubbed raw by "Calma Pueblo" yet enough cumbia to keep things interesting.

Which brings us to "Prepárame la Cena," the album closer, and perhaps it's most impressive number. Tucked into the back despite, or perhaps because of, its pop sheen, the song works as an impressive showcase for the entire group individually and as an entity. Visitante's production is perhaps his most impressive soundscape to date, with measured percussion and guitars, powerful vocal samples, and a grab-bag of tricks at the back-end. Lyrically, Residente keeps things simple and down-to-earth, while his cadence perfectly rides the beat without rocking it. And lest we continue to ignore her, PG-13 finally distinguishes herself as an actual singer, providing first-rate background vocals while delivering a warm, soothing chorus. Not the greatest Calle 13 song - but not far from the top either.

The album proper closes with a continuation of the Hollywood Revue theme of the Intro, except there isn't a celebration. Instead, it's calls of callate! and vehement booing, as if Calle 13 are fully aware of the expected backlash that's about to head their way, which apparently anyone with an awareness of Twitter trends can already tell you is coming. The major criticism typically revolves around Calle 13 being a group of rebels without a cause, Kanye West-esque blowhards that are confused and naïve regarding the messages that they try to convey in their music. That they take the world too lightly for anyone to take their protestations as anything but mere barking, and those criticisms are more than fair. But show me a pop star who isn't full of shit and I'll show you a Taco Bell entrée that doesn't suck. Really, we're not here to talk about politics; we're here for the music, and as pure musicians, this band has very little competition. With Entren los Que Quieran, Calle 13 doesn't change the world, nor do they set it aflame. This may not be their best album either, but considering the spotlight facing them this time, this is can only be labeled as an unqualified success." - dubfonograma

"Plenty of hubbub - everything from comedy to controversy - follows the Puerto Rican hip-hop duo Calle 13. Their penchant for high jinks notwithstanding, the stepbrothers have consistently given voice to an underlying ethic of resistance, one that's never been quite as vociferous as it is on their fourth and latest album, "Entren Los Que Quieran." In "Calma Pueblo," lead vocalist/MC Rene Perez Joglar (a.k.a. Residente) takes aim at everyone from the pope and the White House to Sony Music, the group's record label. Rock-rap beats and freaky electric guitar shore up the invective, the latter courtesy of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta. Resolutely global in scope, the expansive village that Residente describes is anything but quiet.

Updating the eerie atmospherics of spaghetti western soundtracks, "La Bala" (Spanish for bullet) paints bloody scenes evocative of drug wars and military coups - and of the violence-steeped prose of Cormac McCarthy. In the head-bobbing "Digo Lo Que Pienso," Residente boasts that he always speaks his mind, regardless of the ill effects that such defiance might have on the group's popularity.

Crafting the beats is Residente's stepbrother, Eduardo Jose Cabra Martinez (a.k.a. Visitante), whose music is as globally conscious as the band's message. Bollywood and reggaeton, for example, converge on the libidinous "Baile de los Pobres." Indigenous Latin American wind and percussion instruments add mystical overtones to "La Vuelta al Mundo," even as ska and other rhythms drive "Vamo a Portarnos Mal," their exuberance - and revolutionary fervor - making Calle 13 sound like Puerto Rico's answer to the immigrant punk collective Gogol Bordello." - WashingtonPost

"Since the beginning of their career, Calle 13 has always been known for their "in your face" scandalous and raw lyrics. Nothing has changed since then as this album brought about controversy regarding lyrics in the track Digo Lo Que Pienso (I Say What I Think) where they mention a mayor who does drugs, no mention of name, and of course as incredibly 'smart' as most politicians are the alluded mayor threw himself under the bus.

Digo Lo Que Pienso is one of three tracks that I believe are the crown jewels of this album, the other two being La Bala (The Bullet) and Latinoamérica (Latin America). Digo Lo Que Pienso is but a proclamation from lyricist René Pérez about how he sings to tell the truth no matter how much it may hurt. Latinoamérica is a beautiful first person point of view narrative describing the many things that Latin America is. La Bala, though, is by far the most worthy song of this album. Calle 13 explains in poetic detail how a bullet's trajectory, starting with the trigger all the way to the hit, makes our society decay.

After you hear these three tracks you've gotten the gist of it. But to those of you who have neverheard Calle 13, prepare yourselves for the oddest urban style of music you've ever heard. Their music is a widespread fusion of all things Latin-American, music from merengue to salsa to traditional South American instruments, all over a base of steady rhythm hip-hop. If you dig this, then be prepared to be schooled on social morals" - Yam-Mag

"After challenging the authority of governments, corporations and religions in "Calma Pueblo", Calle 13 continues its role as the messengers of Latin Youth with "Vamo a Portarnos Mal" giving a lesson that to live life to the fullest, we should all experience the disorder that comes with occasionally breaking the rules of society.

"LIVE NUDE REBELS - Calle 13 Mixes Pleasure and Pain On New Album: By now, most fans of Calle 13, the irreverent urban duo from Puerto Rico, have seen the music act's video for "Calma Pueblo," in which people tear off their clothes as a sign of rebellion only to be shot down by unseen rifles. Featuring rock group the Mars Volta, the video and song are shocking, not only for the full frontal nudity -- male and female -- but also for the relentless, aggressive beats and the lyrics, which disparage everything from lip-synching in live performances to payola to dishonest politicians... Calle 13 has perfected the art of vocal and voluble social commentary to a degree not found before in Latin music, and the duo has earned critical praise and multiple Latin Grammy Awards as a result. But the two artists aren't grim-faced ideologues -- the brothers make sure to inject humor and dance beats into their music. Those two traits come together on their new album, "Entren los Que Quieran", due October 26 on Sony Music Latin. The set mixes politics with introspection... Calle 13 [is] unorthodox, as it was with the "Calma Pueblo" song and video, which originally were released only on the group's website. "The Web is a very heavy tool," Perez says. "I wanted to do something exclusively for the Internet. The idea was to work freely, without any self-censoring. If there was no censoring (in media), this is the video I'd make. And since I have my Web page, I put it up there, so whoever wanted to watch could come and do so."" - BILLBOARD

Album Reviews:

Billboard (p.72) - "Calle 13's fierce brand of first-person social commentary and all-terrain rebellion transmits as honest and even brave..."

Album Notes

Calle 13 kick off Entren los Que Quieran in exactly the same manner they did their previous two albums, with a parody intro, this time around a raucous send-up to their own record company set to a mock show tune theme, complete with several over the top vocalists. It immediately segues into the abrasive single "Calma Pueblo," a rampant tirade against the powers that be (which in Calle 13's world are quite a few, and often fairly specific -- namely, the government of Puerto Rico, inauthentic artists, the entertainment industry, multinational corporations, and the Vatican), the violence of the words matched at every turn by the vicious guitar of the Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. By the third track, it's time to hit the dancefloor, with the sassy Bollywood-meets-Caribbean "Baile de los Pobres," a trademark Calle 13 party hit. So far, absolutely spectacular. The rest of the album is by no means a letdown, but little by little the problems inherent in Calle 13's commanding discourse begin to appear. As with most acts that deal largely in controversy, Calle 13's songs are seldom more impressive than upon first listen. As the album progresses, while the beats remain strong and the lyrics clever, this maximum-impact approach tends to eventually exhaust itself. Admittedly, there is a marked effort to introduce enough musical variety, as Eduardo Cabra's tracks have long escaped the confines of reggaeton. Entren los Que Quieran excitingly mixes cumbia, merengue, funk, reggae, rock, and hip-hop, as well as boasting collaborations from icons of Latin American music such as Argentine producer Gustavo Santaolalla and vocalists such as Brazil's Maria Rita, Peru's Susana Baca, and Colombia's Totó la Momposina, as well as the aforementioned Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Yet, there is no denying that Residente's absolutely overpowering raps are what make Calle 13 so special, and will always take center stage to the point of rendering the background almost negligible by comparison. He is in fine form on Entren los Que Quieran, now more concerned with politics -- check the scathing attack on the major of San Juan on "Digo Lo Que Pienso" -- than sex (for a reggaeton/hip-hop album, it is refreshingly devoid of woman bashing), typically alternating brilliant rhymes with messianic or contradictory statements. For all of his word wizardry, his logorrheic delivery and choice topics do become repetitive in the long run -- and by now we are on the fourth Calle 13 album. Entren los Que Quieran is another strong addition to a proud discography, one that almost single-handedly elevates the artistic credibility of reggaeton. Make no mistake, Calle 13 are still miles above their peers and countless imitators, but unless they introduce some radical change to their approach (singing, perhaps?), it is unlikely they will ever surpass the shock value of their early work. ~ Mariano Prunes


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