Sello: Universal Music Latino
Ilegales may have gotten their start as one of the first bands to jump on the house-meets-pop bandwagon of neo-merengue, but they didn't stop with electronic beats and pop hooks. La Republica is a tightly assembled, very fashionable collection of merengue makeovers that tries on house, R&B, sugary pop, bachata and a whole lot of hip-hop -- and just about all of it sounds very, very good on these guys. The hip-hop-cut opener is as sexy as its lyrics, and "Siempre Te Vas" works up a frothy EDM lather. But the sing-songing playground taunt/pickup line "Ooh Ay" is the clear standout.