MUSIC ROUNDUP: Will Mariah Top the Charts?

Cop It: Mariah, DLG and Voto Latino

For sultry chicas: No question, Mariah Carey’s E=MC² is the album of choice this week for certified flirty girls. The slimmed-down diva’s 10th studio album picks up right where 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi left off. On the plus side, that means you get less hokey ballads and more hip-hop influenced tracks. On the down side, it means you get virtually none of Mariah’s showstopping vocals—except for when they’re used as background effects on a couple of songs. Also a downer? The album’s simply not as good as Emancipation. We love the reggae flavor that Damian Marley adds to “Cruise Control,” the snap music-influenced single “Touch My Body” and the love ballad-turned-upside down, “Thanx 4 Nothing,” where MC sings, “I can't even cry it's that deep/You just lie and you cheat Like it's nothin’.” But unfortunately, there’s nothing as jaw-droppingly bangin’ as “Shake It Off” or “We Belong Together” on E=MC² …still, if you’ve been a devoted Mariah fan for 18 years and counting, this album’s got enough juice to keep earning your love!

For ‘90s salsa nostalgists: DLG is back, baby! Years ago, the trio known as Dark Latin Groove made salsa relevant for a younger audience by injecting it with reggae and hip-hop influences long before reggaeton made it to our shores. Now, they’ve switched out lead vocalist Huey Dunbar for the no less charismatic Yahaira “Miss YaYa” Vargas, and you only need to hear the chorus kick in on their lead single, “Quiero Decirte Que Te Amo,” to know that the formula still works. Pick up their new album, Renacer, and check out our Q&A with Miss YaYa and James DeJesus later this week.

For voters who rock: Voto Latino, the kickass non-profit that works to drive young Latinos to the polls, is releasing a compilation album exclusively on iTunes and iTunes Latino from April 15 through Election Day in November. The 15-track Voto Latino album, which is being distributed by Nacional Records, is available for just $3.99 and features tunes from artists as diverse as Don Omar, Aterciopelados and Chingo Bling, so there’s definitely reason for everyone to support the cause!

Daddy Yankee Wins Big at the Billboards

El Cangri proved that he still rules not just reggaeton, but the Latin music world as a whole, picking up Urban Album of the Year and Latin Album at last week’s Billboard Latin Music Awards. The ceremony got a 43% boost in ratings this year—2 million viewers, up from 1.4 million in 2007, and it’s due in no small part to the nonstop performances by artists like Enrique Iglesias, Fanny Lu and Wisin & Yandel. Noticeably absent from the festivities, though? RBD’s Maite Perroni, whose role in the telenovela Cuidado con El Angel is apparently creating a conflict of interest between the songstress and her bandmates. Click here for red carpet pics of the RBD gang (sans Maite) and other stars who attended the big show!

Fergie Jumps on the Sex and the City Soundtrack

Last week, we gave you the exclusive scoop on Fergie and her latinidad. In that same interview, the singer told that she recorded the opening number for Sex and The City: The Movie (which hits theaters May 30, ladies--mark your calendars!). The song is called “Labels and Love,” and according to Fergie, it’s less about her and more about the girls on the show. “It’s completely about shopping and friends and love,” said the singer. As for whether she’s got any solo material in the works, Fergie added, “I haven’t done any new album stuff but I still have songs in the vault that are waiting.” We can’t wait to hear’em!

--Monica Herrera