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Ay! Mi Vida

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Album Review

Jerry Rivera makes another strong step forward toward Latin pop stardom with Ay Mi Vida. Though perhaps a step away from his salsa career and the fans whom he left behind, the strength of this 2005 release begs the question, "Has this been Rivera's true identity all along?" His pop performance is so confident and seamless that it's easy to forget the heritage of this onetime heir to salsa's throne. Thanks in part to longtime collaborator and producer Ramon B. Sanchez, the sonic quality of Ay Mi Vida is simultaneously shimmering, clear, and yet warm. From a production perspective, this is as fine a record as can be found anywhere in the pop world. The tracks on the title cut, "Right on Time," and "Como Duele" are funky and grooving without overshadowing Rivera's vocal performance. The salsa remixes present seem a bit like an afterthought. Only adding a few salsa elements to the sample-driven title cut and "Sobre Tu Piel" makes their inclusion feel like lip service. In a genre filled with mediocrity, Rivera and his team have produced a pleasingly sophisticated and listenable project. Subtlety and taste are very precious commodities, and they abound on Rivera's debut album for the mighty Norte label. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Born: 31 July 1973 in Humacao, Puerto Rico

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Jerry Rivera is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum salsa singer from Puerto Rico who has been active as a recording artist since he was a teenager. He was born in 1973, in Huamco, Puerto Rico, the son of singers Edwin "Pino" and Domingo Rivera. He began singing with his parents at various gatherings and was given small solo showcases at his parents' concerts. Pino recorded Jerry when he was 14 and sent the demo to CBS/Sony Discos, who signed him to a long recording contract. His debut album, Empezando...
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Ay! Mi Vida, Jerry Rivera
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