I was raised on Latin music, and work around it for a living. So I might as well be the one to address the elephant in the room. It's big, it's gray, it smells like an entire farm's worth of shit, and it's eating all the peanuts. Enough is enough, people. It's time we face facts. Aventura sucks.

Anthony "Romeo" Santos, Lenny Santos, Henry Santos Jeter, and Max Santos have turned what is essentially traditional Dominican folk music into a worldwide sensation by doing what Carlos Vives did to Colombia: dressing up music from el campo (the sticks) and performing it as a boy band, thus making it marketable to the masses, and succeeding more and more with each album they've dropped since their inception some 16 years ago.


Aventura the band

8 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, and Wednesday, July 7. Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $75 to $150 each night; ticketmaster.com

Aventura has one AMA for Favorite Latin Artist, five Premio Lo Nuestro awards, nine Billboard Latin Music Awards, and the number one spot on Billboard's Boxscore, doubling Bon Jovi's take for a total count of four sold-out shows. And those are just the digits for the past six months. Need we even regurgitate sales figures, such as the number that's earned them triple-platinum sales in the Latin market or actually landed them on Billboard's Top 200 — not among their Latin peers, mind you — but with top-selling general-market artists such as the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga? Never mind their absurd 23-week reign for the top-selling Latin album or their radio airplay rankings. There's no way to take any of that away from them.

What the hell, guys? Is prepubescent horniness masqueraded as the sensitive musings of romantic men, along with seductively delivered cajolery cheesier than Chester the Cheetah's pawprints, enticing? Surely, a telenovela star's weak attempt at sexy intonation isn't enough to overlook brazenly corny Latin-lover lyrics. Whatever it is, the way fans have embraced these guys is over-the-top, and there's no discernible reason.


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