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Album Review

The self-titled Voltio followed the reggaeton artist's White Lion debut album by roughly a year's time, and features mostly new material alongside some of the better songs from Voltage/AC. It's not a very marked step forward artistically, it should be noted, but it is a noteworthy step forward commercially. Reggaeton had a good year in 2005, and the music's profile rose steadily over the year, to the point where it was getting lots of media coverage. So when Voltio dropped at the end of the year, it got plenty of notice — and rightfully so, because Voltio is one of the style's better artists, sharing much in common with his iconic labelmate, Tego Calderón. The two are both thoughtful, serious-minded performers with styles that are rough and much more in line with hardcore rap than dancehall, Latin dance, or pop. Even so, two of the best songs on Voltio are oriented toward the dancefloor, "Chulin Culin Chunfly" and the previously released "Bumper." Another of the previously released standout songs, "Julito Maraña," is less so. Though driven by a nice, salsa-tinged piano riff, the song is oriented toward careful listening, boasting a cinematic street tale accentuated by a guest feature for Calderón. A long-form video had been filmed for the song upon its initial release, one of the first of reggaeton's earnest forays into the realm of video. Relative to the best of the reggaeton albums released widely in 2005 (Pa'l Mundo, Mas Flow, Vol. 2, Reggaeton Latino, Barrio Fino en Directo, Motivando a la Yal, et al.), Voltio is solid and impressive, albeit relatively one-dimensional, with few guest features and not an especially wide range of production styles. It's a first-class reggaeton album, nonetheless, and a promising stride forward for Voltio, who seems destined for prosperity.


Born: Santurce, Puerto Rico

Genre: Latin Urban

Years Active: '00s

One of the most noteworthy reggaeton voices of the mid-2000s, Voltio worked his way up the ranks over the course of several years, expanding his reach with each successive release. Born Julio Ramos in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Voltio (Voltage en inglés) grew up in the Parque Ecuestre section of Carolina. Along with Hector Bambino and Rey 29, as a teenager he formed Masters of Funk, a rap group that never recorded any albums but one that helped plant the seeds for the impending reggaeton movement. When...
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Voltio, Voltio
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