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Album Review

The most successful Spanish pop/rock band of the mid-2000s, El Canto del Loco were on a roll with Personas, their fourth album in a row helmed by La Oreja de Van Gogh producer Nigel Walker. They first hooked up with Walker on their second full-length studio effort, A Contracorriente (2002), which included a smash hit duet with La Oreja de Van Gogh frontwoman Amaia Montero, "Puede Ser," one of the album's three chart-topping hit singles. Like A Contracorriente, each of El Canto del Loco's successive studio albums, Estados de Ánimo (2003) and Zapatillas (2005), topped the Spanish albums chart and spawned a series of smash hits. Given the band's near-perfect track record of commercial success, not to mention a long list of industry awards, it's no surprise that Personas is once again produced by Walker and doesn't depart stylistically from past albums. Brandishing a bold, infectious style of power pop, El Canto del Loco charge through a baker's dozen songs, almost all of them uptempo rockers brimming with youthful exuberance. Critics have been quick to tag El Canto del Loco as music for teenagers, and while there's no disputing the band's appeal to young listeners full of spunk and angst, such criticism overlooks the songwriting smarts and production wizardry of this music. In terms of songwriting, each song on Personas is distinct from the next, if not in terms of lyrics then from a musical standpoint. Sure, practically every song is uptempo and structured verse-chorus-verse, but these guys have mastered the power pop style, writing songs that are lyrically engaging, emotionally charged, inescapably catchy, and musically vibrant. Of course, it helps that they've developed a close working relationship with Walker, whose Midas touch as a hitmaker has brought nothing but success to the bands that he's produced in recent years. As for highlights, Personas boasts too many to detail, starting with the exciting album-opener "Corazón" and extending to the late-album gem "La Suerte de Mi Vida." Yet where Personas truly shines is a couple tracks into the album with the back-to-back sequencing of "Eres Tonto" and "Peter Pan," a pair of contrasting songs that are similarly stellar and among the band's best work to date.

Biography

Genre: Alternative and Latin Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A pop/rock band from Madrid, Spain, El Canto del Loco ("Song of the Madman") was started as a project by two acting students who shared a passion for Spanish power pop. Daniel Martín García (aka Dani Martín) and Iván Alejandro Ganchegui were soon joined by guitarist David Otero, drummer Alejandro Velázquez Insua (Jandro), and bassist José María Ruiz Casares (aka Chema Ruiz). After recording a demo and signing with BMG-Ariola, El Canto del Loco recorded...
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Personas, El Canto del Loco
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