Mundo Lite [Bonus DVD]

by: Aleks Syntek

Mexican pop/rock genius Aleks Syntek has recorded a lot of great music in his day, and the songs comprising Mundo Lite are no exception. In fact, they just might be some of the best he's ever assembled on one album. From the album-opening electronic textures and guitar hooks of "Tiempos de Paz," it's hard to deny the music of Mundo Lite. And if you're not drawn in from the get-go, the second song, "Duele de Amor," an absolutely beautiful duet with Spanish star Ana Torroja, surely will get you. But don't be mistaken. Syntek may be the epitome of Latin pop, but he's an artist first and foremost. His credits for Mundo Lite read like a laundry list: everything from singing, songwriting, and various instrumentation to engineering, production, and arranging. This guy does it all, and he does it very well. Mundo Lite simply shines in terms of production. It's super-produced without sounding over-produced; shimmering with detail yet clearly defined; full and yet still light and spacious. His singing and instrumentation aren't exactly virtuosic, but they don't need to be. This is pop music -- keeping the proceedings basic and accessible is a key part of the appeal. The only real challenge here is to deny the pull of these songs, as they're lively, feel-good, and really catchy. Highlights are plentiful, to the point where you'll likely find yourself playing Mundo Lite from beginning to end without ever reaching for the track-forward button on your music player (not counting the bonus tracks, which admittedly are a bit too much). Again, it seems a little monotonous to harp on about the talents of Syntek, given his bountiful recording career and all the accolades showered upon him over the years, but it's worth stressing that as great as his past work has been more often than not, Mundo Lite showcases the man in peak form. So much so that the album begs the perennial question: where does he go from here? It's hard to imagine a better, nearer-to-perfect performance from Syntek. Does this man's talent have a limit? [EMI reissued the album in early 2005, appending a bonus DVD including three videos: "Te Soñé," "Duele el Amor," "A Veces Fui."] ~ Jason Birchmeier

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