While the title TMPR: The Most Powerful Rookie might seem like another hype-laden, idle boast in reggaeton's fiercely competitive world, in Farruko's case, it just may be the truth. After years spent developing new school reggaeton with Daddy Yankee, J Alvarez, and Jory, Farruko (real name: Carlos Efrén Reyes Rosado) dropped his solo debut, Talento del Bloque, in 2010. Its singles hit radio and iTunes charts and stayed there, influencing the Billboard Latin singles chart in the process. He prefaced the release of TMPR with the sexy, non-album video single "Cositas Que Hacíamos," creating a near-frenzied demand for the long-player. When he dropped "Dime Que Hago," the album's first video and single, it climbed the charts, setting the pace for one of the finest reggaeton recordings of 2012. These dozen tracks offer Farruko's smooth, nocturnal vocal delivery and focus more on the soul and reggae side of the music rather than its hip-hop beats. The electronics in "Dime Que Hago," are layered underneath that seductive voice as brittle beats pop at the ends of his sung lines as accents. Other highlights include the more uptempo, rap-driven "Piketo," with mentor Daddy Yankee, the slippery "El Único," with Alberto Stylee, and the sentimental "Va a Ser Abuela," that touches on plena in its melody. The set's closing track -- listed as a bonus -- is "Hola Beba," a new school reggaeton mambo! TMPR: The Most Powerful Rookie, not only avoids the usual sophomore slump; with its songwriting, production, and performances, it surpasses Farruko's debut in every way.
Thom Jurek, Rovi