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Generation Next

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Album Review

Though the bachata genre is pretty young and music lovers are still getting to know its first generation, the youthful Dominicanos of Aventura and their huge peer fan base are ready to be recognized. Generation Next, the debut album of the Washington Heights-based, Dominican Republic-born quartet Aventura, marks the beginning of a new era for Dominican pop music. With a little better than ten years between Juan Luis Guerra's (the first internationally recognizable bachata artist) arrival on the major-label scene and their own, it seems a short time period to be called a "generation." That said, Aventura's sound is truly something different than what was first called bachata, on Guerra's Bachata Rosa. The instrumentation remains roughly the same; guitar, guiro, bongo, voice, and bass, but Aventura's modern urban influences are noticeable. In the past, bachata selections have been in the minority, as Dominican pop artists tend to lean toward merengue. Not the case for Generation Next, which places emphasis on the more rural, austere bachata style. Also, the funk inflections and R&B attitude help define the identity of a new camp. From this album forward there will be a notable difference between merengue and bachata records that are produced on native soil, and those from Nueva York. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Formed: 1994 in New York, NY

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

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

A New York-based Dominican boy band with roots deep in bachata? If that sounds unlikely, well, Aventura have managed to cope with it. The group was formed in 1994 in the Bronx by four boys (Anthony Santos, Lenny Santos, Max Santos, and Henry Santos Jeter) who were determined to break Dominican bachata music out from its traditional base and fuse it with the other sounds they heard every day, like hip-hop and R&B. Interestingly, unlike other youths seeking success, they didn't give themselves over...
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Generation Next, Aventura
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