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Jesse & Joy: Un Besito Mas *

Track List

>Que pena me Da
>Ecos de Amor
>No soy una de Esas - (featuring Alejandro Sanz)
>Me Soltaste
>3 a.m. - (featuring Tommy Torres)
>¡Ay Doctor!
>Muero de Amor
>Dime que No
>More than Amigos
>Besito Más, Un - (featuring Juan Luis Guerra)
>Quiéreme Despacito
>Malo, El

Album Notes

Sibling duo Jesse & Joy have been recording and touring for ten years. Their individual brand of Latin pop has won over fans because of the duo's willingness to put everything on display, even their naivete. That said, their fourth album, Un Besito Mas, stands out from their catalog while being a logical extension of it. Jesse Huerta re-enlisted Martin Terefe (who helmed the sessions for ¿Con Quién Se Queda el Perro?), but, for the first time, also hired others to be his co-producers: Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Sam Smith) Juan Luis Guerra, and Tommy Torres (the latter two also appear here). While first single "Ecos de Amor" doesn't sound much different from their earlier work, the confidence in Joy Huerta's voice does. She digs so much deeper, even while using greater subtlety in her phrasing to bring out the poignancy in the lyric. She's emboldened by a massive backing chorus, Jesse's stinging slide guitar, cinematic drums, sweeping strings, and multi-layered keyboards. But similarities to earlier work almost end there. Check the title track with Guerra as her duet partner. It's a ballad that weaves together equal parts doo wop, early rock & roll, bachata, and Latin soul. The siblings wrote or co-wrote all but one track here, several of them with Torres, who appears on the funky, nuevo flamenco-tinged groover "3 A.M." The horn-driven dance rocker "No Soy Una de Esas" features Alejandro Sanz in duet and is an album highlight. The tropical flavor of "¡Ay Doctor!" carries an irresistible pop hook inside a sumptuous dance groove with the horns challenging Joy for dominance while polyrhythms bump, pop, and crackle underneath. Speaking of tropical, check the weave of salsa, soul, and vintage A.M.radio pop in the English-language track "More Than Amigos" -- the brass arrangement and baritone saxophone break are delicious. Set-closer "El Malo" is fronted by Jesse. It's a sad song about a grown man looking back with longing and regret at the woman who loved and left him because his machismo wouldn't allow him to become vulnerable. Fingerpicked acoustic and electric guitars, cello, and chamber strings highlight the ache in his voice as Joy's vocal enters on the chorus. She adds emotional authenticity to the lyric, a metaphorical portrait of who (and what) the protagonist lost due to his folly. Synth, piano, ringing guitar lines, and gentle percussion carry his voice -- and this set -- out on a poignant, tender note. For fans, Un Besito Mas is still instantly recognizable as Jesse & Joy. But the musical diversity and songwriting and production chops on this album carry them to a new, mature level of sophistication. This is their finest record to date. ~ Thom Jurek


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