Review

Fans of Ziggy Marley's Dragonfly or Ben Harper's early works like Welcome to the Cruel World or Fight for Your Mind are sure to enjoy this sophomore release from Puerto Rico's own Sie7e. Equal parts lighthearted folky Latin rock and one-world conscious reggae, Para Mi is as disarming and sincere as Sie7e's toothy grin featured on the cover photo. The artist weaves together upbeat reggae-infused horn and guitar lines with bustling percussion parts rooted in Sie7e's Latino heritage. The vocal performances throughout are best described as childlike and exuberant. Both unbridled enthusiasm and lack of depth belie the artist's youth. Sie7e's priority is clear on quality songwriting over passionate vocal interpretation. The songwriting is well worth the trade. "Lo Que No Viene," "Cógelo," and "Pa'lante, Pa'lante" all achieve an amazing balance of musical creativity and lyrical excellence. Production quality leaves a bit to be desired, which is surprising, considering the album's major-label backing from Machete Music. Many tunes lack the "thump" they seem to reach for, which has more to do with budget than artistry. That said, track for track it would be difficult to find a disc in the genre as likeable and memorable. The disc leaves listeners with a tropical-colored "life is good" feeling that more than makes up for the few notable weaknesses. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi

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