Jon Caramanica
May 30, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

4

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Beyonce Knowles
genre
Pop

We gave it a B

Latin pop never quite became la juggernaut loca it promised to be, but, thankfully, groups like Texas’ KUMBIA KINGS have continued to thrive. On the polyglot 4 (EMI Latin), the five-man boy band (founded by A.B. Quintanilla III, brother of the late Tejano star Selena) teases the old and young alike. For traditionalists, there’s south-of-the-border roots music — ”No Tengo Dinero,” featuring El Gran Silencio, and ”Mi Gente,” with Ozomatli — and for their kids, the Kings sing radio-ready prom songs. The latter come in three styles: plaintive Spanish-language ballads like ”Rompecabezas”; crossover soul like the current hit ”Don’t Wanna Try,” by King Frankie J (whose solo debut is out this week); and such cheesy, timeless pop as a cover of New Kids on the Block’s ”Please Don’t Go Girl,” updated with teenybop raps for multiculti baggy-pants appeal.

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