Someday soon I need to write about masculine Archetypes and Shadows in reggaeton. Sounds a little esoteric, but that's all I could think about when I went last Spring to Wisín and Yandel's concert at El Choliseo in PR.
Franco El Gorila (not surprisingly signed to WY Records) recently inspired the same desire in me with one particular song.
Franco's "Toma" left me cold, but "Dame un Kiss" has had the opposite effect. The backing track I just plain like. A lot. It's melodically abrasive and steps out of the narrowest reggaeton formula.
As usual, I asked Wayne Marshall to lend me his musicological ear, to help me put into words what about "Dame un Kiss" inspires my sonic pleasures. Wayne says: "the sonic palette here clearly goes beyond the typical Luny synths. I like the surf rock guitar and the quasi-oriental melodic bits."
Wayne later had to break down what "surf guitar rock" is, but in the end confirmed my suspicions that "Dame un Kiss" hit my soft spot for heavy metal.
O.k., so musically, I think "Dame un Kiss" is hot and certainly not more of the same. But there is more… Something about the song's aggressive, porn and pop-informed lyrical sensuality disturbs and captivates me.
The lyrics are none too imaginative. And it might be precisely that average lyricism mixed with its hyper-hyper-aggressiveness that draws me in. Sure, most reggaeton artists carefully cultivate a surly hardness while failing to cultivate word-play beyond the usual formulas. Nothing new there. But Franco takes it up a notch. The best example is in the hook's offer to eat Her cherry-flavored g-string with whipped cream. The image is so straight out of the pre-packaged sexuality box that it… Distresses me? Embarrasses me? Confuses me? Seduces me? Make me empathetic for the man posing as hero and ensnared in his own Shadows?
Or is it just that El Gorila's Kiss ensnares me in my own Shadows?