Review

If there is one nation in Latin America that has taken the pop ball and run with it, it is Mexico. From heart-wrenching ballads to the free-spirited guitar-driven club tracks, Mexico emulates like no other the youthful vigor that prevailed in the U.S. market before the early '90s. With Mexico, as has always been the case for pop, there is a vast sea of mediocrity, musicians who remanufacture and repackage each other's ideas with very little variation or invention. But as with any pop music boom, there is room for genius, need for guiding stars. Anyone familiar with the long, brilliant career of Aleks Syntek knows him to be one of these pop luminaries. Syntek is an artist who continues to set the bar higher and higher, with every addition to his discography. Some would say impossibly high with the release of 2003's Mundo Lite. Though it would be difficult to pick the stronger of the two titanic records, 2005's Mundo Live is consistent with the curve. The production throughout is as rich and warm as Syntek's presence from the stage. Throughout the disc he jokes and sings duets with his enormous and adoring audience. The electronic music component of his repertoire is expertly integrated, a difficult task in a large venue. The pacing of the album seems a bit lopsided, as the loop-enhanced dance material is all weighted toward the beginning, with a mix of solo material and rock rhythm section to finish out the majority of the record. Details aside, the sheer joyful emotion that permeates each track and the invention with which they're written set Syntek apart as one of the strongest voices leading a growing force in the world market. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi

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