Colombian rocker Juanes was propelled from Medellín's metal scene to international stardom in the wake of the U.S. Latin pop explosion of the 1990s, and his radio-friendly songs, as catchy as they are, have maintained an appealingly hard edge. He might have been expected to dig in to his rock roots for his first MTV Unplugged, recorded for the network's bilingual channel Tr3s. But this Unplugged has a bigger sound than most of Juanes' studio recordings. Helmed by Grammy-winning tropical artist and music director Juan Luis Guerra, it's pure big-band Latin pop, featuring guest vocalists, horns and strings sections, traditional Latin American instruments and even a 32-person choir. "Me Enamora," a hit from Juanes' album La Vida es un Ratico, is punctuated by a brass section, trading the intense percussion-heavy vibe of the original version for a soaring euphoric sound. New song "La Señal" is tinged with likeable tropical dance grooves. Rock ballad "Hoy Me Voy" is performed here as a bilingual bossa nova with Brazilian singer Paula Fernandes. Juanes' songwriting is strong enough to stand up to these splashier arrangements, but don't expect to find much of the broodier singer-songwriter side of Juanes at this party. The album sounds like just what you'd expect from a Latin pop idol.
Description provided by Judy Cantor-Navas, Google Play