Monday, December 17, 2012

Cosculluela: War Kingz

To this day, I remember the shock of finding myself in the housewares department of a Coin department store in Florence, Italy when a completely unedited Eminem song came blasting over the speakers.  Around me, all of the little old Italian ladies picked out their napkin rings in peace, completely oblivious to the f-bombs exploding around them.  I bring this up only because I enjoyed a similar oblivion while listening to this Spanish-language hip hop/reggaeton album, although I'm fairly sure it wasn't exactly PG given the one or two heavily-accented English "motherfuckers" I picked out amongst the Spanish.

So, doubtless as a result of our culture's fetish for English-only pop, I was able to find virtually nothing about Cosculluela on the Internet (incidentally, I completely agree with this Slate article that we need more non-English music on the radio).  And what I did find was on Wikipedia: Cosculluela is a reggaeton singer from Puerto Rico who released his first album in 2009 (this is his fourth).  Furthermore, he's done collaborations with a bunch of other high-profile reggaeton artists, most of which are, like him, pretty much unknown to the larger US English-speaking population.  So there's that.

Based on the album art alone, I was expecting this record to be on the harder side, and possibly difficult to listen to.  On a purely musical basis (once again, I don't so much know about the lyrics), this is not AT ALL the case: in fact, the album comes across more as a fun blend of club pop and melodious hip hop/reggaeton.  For the most part, the songs rely on a heavily Auto-tuned sung chorus (and often an intro that fits the same description), and a latin-flavored hip hop beat, with lots of electronic flourishes (often piano or keyboard as well), and some super-melodic rapped lyrics on top (like, almost sung).  The songs are all of a pretty high caliber, so much so that almost any one of them could be a single, with standouts including "Me Gustas Tú", which has a Caribbean beat and lots of sweet, sweet Auto-tuning, and "Parkiao" featuring Los Mafia Boyz which gets a little more hardcore with a percussive background of gun shots, although it does go a little crazy with the shout-outs and whatnot.  I think I've listened to this album 4 or 5 times by now, and not just because I couldn't think of exactly what to say about it...  And SHIT, the video I wanted to put at the end of this post is "not available in [my] country".  Um... dude?  Isn't Puerto Rico "my country"?

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