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Album Review

With his each one of his three previous records reaching number one on Billboard's salsa chart, Elvis Crespo certainly had set a high standard of success for his 2002 release, Urbano. Leaving his pretty-boy look and youthful vocal approach behind him, Crespo both looks and sounds like an artist who has come into his own. Like fellow Puerto Rican artists Olga Tañón and Joseph Fonseca, Crespo has chosen the merengue rhythms native to the D.R. as his musical backdrop. The beefy, four-on-the-floor feel, filled out by the traditional horns and piano montuno is embellished by the urban influence hinted at in the title. Distorted rock guitar and electronic elements straight from the club add the extra dirt and funk necessary to set Crespo ahead of the pack. Where in some cases these elements would be unwelcome party crashers, they're used effectively by producer/musical director Roberto Cora. Crespo's vocal performances throughout are earnest and mature. His melodic sense and spare use of ornamentation make for a very digestible album. Elvis Crespo, like Tañón, is an artist who performs merengue, not a merengue artist. Urbano does honor to his successful past, and also offers promise for his bright future. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Born: July, 1971 in New York, NY

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his mastery of the Dominican Republic's merengue tradition, New York-born and Puerto Rican-raised vocalist Elvis Crespo wasted no time in reaching the apex of contemporary Latin music. His debut album, Suavemente, reached the top slot on Billboard's National Hot Latin Top 40 in 1998, and spawned two record-breaking singles -- "Tu Sonrisa" and the title track. Crespo received Billboard awards for Latin album of the year, Male artist of the year, group or duet of the year, and song of the year....
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Urbano, Elvis Crespo
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