Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #73: "Promise" -- Romeo Santos ft/ Usher

Hey, remember Aventura? No? OK, if you're from America, that makes sense. The group was one of Dominican Republic's most successful acts in the 2000s, and plenty of their songs found their way onto the United States Latin music charts. Still, unless you're a connoisseur of such music here in the US, Aventura may be new to you. Sure, the band's "Obsesion" was covered by Frankie J and released in English to a top three position on the Hot 100 as "Obsession (No Es Amor)," but that's about all the group is known for in the United States.

That doesn't really change with Romeo Santos' "Promise." The former lead singer of Aventura released his debut solo record this year, and the half-Spanish, half-English tune marked his personal best in terms of breaking into the US mainstream conscious.

Even without the song's big-name featured player, "Promise" is a delightful little song. Santos sings in Spanish the whole way through, with the song transitioning from mellow R&B to the bachata element Santos is most familiar with from his days in Aventura. Really, he's like the Dominican Usher. He has a sweet-sounding voice, perfect for an R&B slow jam should he ever try to do the crossover.

Oh, speaking of Usher, he's on this track.

Yep, probably the main reason this song really caught on at all in America was due to Usher's presence. The singer is a professed fan of Santos, and the duo's voices mesh soundly.

Whether you understand both Spanish and English, only one of them or even neither, you can feel the passion in each singer's vocal. It's a song to which one can relate or which can elicit emotions, despite the potential language barrier.

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