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Código Personal: A Media Vida

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Album Review

It took over a decade of hitmaking before Estéfano finally stepped into the limelight and began making hits for himself as he had done in years past for such brand-name Latin pop stars as Thalía, Chayanne, Marc Anthony, Paulina Rubio, and Gloria Estefan. His solo debut, Código Personal: A Media Vida, features all the hallmarks of his past work: the well-crafted songwriting, nuanced production, detailed layers of musicianship, big, can't-miss hooks, and of course, heartfelt lyrics of striking detail. Then again, Código Personal is missing one hallmark of his work: an electrifying singer with spark, sizzle, and spice. Put another way, Estéfano is no Paulina Rubio. To be fair, however, few are. Like Coti (aka Coti Sorokin) — a fellow superstar Latin pop producer who stepped out from the studio and into the spotlight, making his solo debut a year earlier with Canciones Para Llevar — Estéfano is a good singer, just not an especially charismatic performer. No fireworks here, folks. It's a tough criticism to level at him, though. After all, his album is filled with wonderful songs highlighted by bright productions, lively musicianship, and giant hooks — all attributes that arguably outweigh even the most electrifying singer, who may have the spark, sizzle, and spice Estéfano lacks, but may have those attributes simply in vain. It's just something you have to accept as a listener: this guy is a fine yet unremarkable singer who happens to be a genius in all other musical regards. And if you can accept Estéfano as the singer of these songs, you have yourself a first-rate Latin pop album to enjoy. It's somewhat front-loaded, with the lead single, the heartfelt ballad "Un Hombre Que No Ha Sido el de Tus Sueños," coming quickly at track three, preceded by two great songs. But there are some real gems sequenced later on, with "Camino al Cielo" particularly standing out at track six and the album closer, "Tú Más Yo," bookending this exceptionally solid album on a feel-good note. For the most part, these are guitar-driven songs — not rock, per se, but often rocking. The lead single is only one of two ballads here, which is good because Estéfano's production talents are better showcased by the vibrant range of uptempo sounds on display. Not to belabor the key point, but as with the solo work of Coti, if you can get past the lack of fireworks in regard to Estéfano's performance debut, there's a wealth of spectacular songs here on Código Personal.

Customer Reviews


Good singer,good compositor

Thank You Estefano

Congratulations to Estefano for producing his remarkable debut! As a fellow producer and recording artist, I take my hat off to Estefano for all his hard work and skill...Well Done! -Brent Gunter -Guitarist & Composer on Andalucia


Born: Cali, Colombia

Genre: Latin Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Beginning in the mid-'90s Estéfano was Latin music's premier hitmaking songwriter/producer, winning armloads of awards, reigniting the careers of has-been performers, racking up endless chart-topping hits for an array of others, and even emerging as a solo artist in 2005, once it had long become clear that he was a Latin pop songwriting genius. Born Fabio Alonso Salgado in Cali, Colombia, Estéfano left his home for the United States in 1989, arriving as an aspiring songwriter. He signed his first...
Full Bio
Código Personal: A Media Vida, Estefano
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