Nearly ten years after the release of El Rock de Mi Pueblo, Carlos Vives, Colombia's greatest living vallenato singer, made his international comeback with the diverse Corazón Profundo in 2013.
Certainly the singer teased fans of the vallenato tradition with the smoking "Volvi a Nacer," his pre-release single that entered the charts in the top spot, and is featured on this follow-up entitled Más Corazón Profundo in an extended version.
But like his previous offering, vallenato isn't the only trick up his sleeve here.
He still has the party touch too, as evidenced by Tropical hip-hop undergirding his melody in "El Mar de Sus Ojos" with guest Choc Quib Town.
That's far from the only duet here.
Check the very next cut, "Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar" with Marc Anthony -- with a gaita flute, it's a stunning bit of romantic tropi-pop with an anthemic chorus.
This set also includes a gorgeous salsa version of the sensual "La Foto de Los Do" that appeared as tropi-pop romanticos on the last album.
Other highlights here include the deeply traditional "Hijo del Vallenato," with a skittering accordion up front with Vives' vocal, and the slow-burning "Cumbia de Todos." If Corazón Profundo was light on ambition, it did serve as a reminder of the depth of Vives' talent.
By contrast, Más Corazón Profundo gives listeners the heart of vallenato and other Colombian traditions with a lot less pop tossed in.
It is perhaps, even as a companion piece, the better of the two albums.
Either way, both records attest that after his long absence, the singer is back, energetic and more creatively ambitious than ever before.