Personnel: Nir Seroussi (vocals); Marco Antonio Godoy (guitar, cuatro, programming); Ram¢n Stagnaro (guitar); Norgie Noriega (bajo sexto); Ismael Gallegos (accordion); Arturo Solar (trumpet); Alejandro Carballo (trombone); Mike Duffy, Carlos L¢pez (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Gustavo Borner; Mauricio Guerrero; Boris Mil n.
Recording information: Filthy Studios, Van Nuys, CA; Igloo Music Studios, Burbank, CA; Le Boot Studios, Van Nuys, CA; Mas Flow Studios, Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Photographer: Mateo Garcia.
Arrangers: Marco Antonio Godoy; Kike Santander.
After singing in the Kumbia Kings and fronting the Kumbia All Starz, Irvin "Pee Wee" Salinas had a public falling out with the man behind both groups, musician/producer A.B. Quintanilla. Learning from the so-so performance of "Life Is a Dance Floor," the single that kicked off Pee Wee's solo career in 2008, his much anticipated Yo Soy goes bold right from the start, kicking off with a track that sounds like his previous group's most polished efforts. "Cumbaya" is as big as Latin pop gets with infectious numbers like "Ojos de Cristal" and the aptly titled "Irresistible" offering gloss that can't be denied. Pee Wee's fans have been here before and won't mind it all over again, but Yo Soy tempers this familiar perfection with a couple tracks that push harder. "Desesperado" starts with an understated, almost precious intro and then builds into something bigger than Pee Wee's previous work, a giant, sweeping chorus that sounds heavily influenced by the power ballads of rock acts like Creed. The closing "Pergaminos" is a less successful attempt along the same lines, but this mix of old and new serves to satisfy the faithful while offering proof Pee Wee can be more than the face of Quintanilla's projects. ~ David Jeffries