Los Cocorocos is a very nice concept: bring back the atmosphere of the 70's nightlife in Puerto Rico, by letting the top voices of modern salsa sing the big classics of those days. And what is a modern production without the most popular artists of today: reggaeton rappers. As Gallego puts it in the intro, "Saying "Cocoroco", is like saying salsa vieja is a blood relative of rap and reggaeton. It's like saying both movements serve the same artistic goal, if the sound is eternal the beat doesn't matter my brother. What really matters in the end, is that you have the Music in you, and that you live it."
A noble goal indeed! As a quite recent adept of latin music, these classic songs are unknown to me, but the original combination of rappers doing salsa appealed to me. And hopefully to young latino's everywhere, as discovering your roots through music is something that needs to be encouraged!
All cultural historicism aside, Los Cocorocos is definitely a kick-ass salsa gorda album. The raps provide an essential diversion of the classic salsa rhythm, the lyrics add a modern dimension of social consciousness and (on the other hand) party atmosphere. "Los Hombres Tienen La Culpa" is a wise choice of first single, fresh Grammy winner Gilberto Santa Rosa combines well with the don of reggaeton, Don Omar.
Tego Calderón joins well-known sonero Victor Manuelle on "Ché Ché Colé", originally by the legendary Willie Colón. (Tego already proved his ability in salsa on Chango Blanco, off his album The Underdog). More famous duos: rapper Zion sings "Dos Jueyes "with Domingo Quiñones and fat guys Tito Nieves, Pedro Brull and John Erick sing "Los Gorditos". All songs are bursting with energy, both thanks to the strength of the original songs, and the effort of the modern artists, conscious of the legendary footsteps they're filling.
About halfway through the album, the rhythm changes to more heavy reggaeton, ragga and hiphop beats, and a chance is given to less famous artists. They fail to live up to the big names, you will need your skip button.
For the (impressive) full tracklist, and a chance to win the album, check out La Onda Tropical!