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Fantasía Pop

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Album Review

Following two acclaimed albums (Cocktail, 2003; Dulce Beat, 2005) and a few chart-topping hits ("Tus Ojos," "Me Pregunto," "Por Ti"), Belanova made some adjustments for their third album, Fantasía Pop, and not necessarily for the better. Thankfully, much of what made the Mexican dance-pop trio so appealing in the first place remains firmly in place. Once again, Belanova works with Latin Grammy-winning producer Cachorro López, who gives the album a fashionable electro-pop sheen. Vocalist Denisse Guerrero remains at the forefront of the trio, and while her range is limited, she has a distinct and endearing voice that suits the music well. As on past albums, the overall mood of Fantasía Pop is upbeat and jubilant — no question about it, this is feel-good music. The adjustments made by Belanova include a more straightforward pop/rock style of songwriting. Whereas past albums, particularly the first one, Cocktail, were as much dance as they were pop in terms of style (i.e., literally "dance-pop") — more informed by club culture than pop culture — Fantasía Pop is tailor-made for mainstream airplay: no song tops four minutes in length, the songwriting follows a basic verse-chorus-verse formula, and while the dance beats are integral, they're never once the primary focus of the songs. Another adjustment that may prove troubling for many listeners is the simplified lyrics. Not that past albums were adult-oriented in their themes or could be mistaken for poetry, but the lyrics of Fantasía Pop seem as though they're intended for pre-teen consumption. For instance, "Rockstar" is the type of song Miley Cyrus might sing, and any number of songs here could have been written for placement on an RBD album. In other words, in an effort to target the youth market, the lyrics seem, for lack of a better term, dumbed down. If you can overlook some of the dumb lyrics — or better yet, if you don't understand Spanish — there's a lot to like about Fantasía Pop. The highlights of the album — "Baila Mi Corazón," "One, Two, Three, Go! (1, 2, 3, Go!)," and "Cada Que..." above all — are downright irresistible, and the electro-pop style is about as fashionable as mainstream Latin pop gets in 2007.


Genre: Pop in Spanish

Years Active: '00s, '10s

One of the most sensational Mexican pop acts of the mid-2000s, Belanova enjoyed tremendous success in their native country, especially with their second album, Dulce Beat, whose single "Por Ti" notably logged a record-setting 29 weeks atop MTV Mexico's Top 20 chart. Vocalist/songwriter Denisse Guerrero, programmer/keyboardist Edgar Huerta, and bassist Ricardo Arreola formed Belanova in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in 2000. After a couple years, they signed to Virus Records, a Mexican dance label owned by...
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Fantasía Pop, Belanova
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