At this point, Don Omar, flamboyant reggaeton superstar and self-described "King of Kings," is almost as well known for his compilation discs as he is for his own albums. Omar's solo work can be spotty: Last year's electro-inspired club disc, "iDon," was a concept album that re-imagined the singer as a half-man, half-robot creature. It was not one of his better ideas.
Omar is on safer ground on "Don Omar Presents: Meet the Orphans," a collection of tracks spotlighting the artists and producers of his El Orfanato record label. It's a curiously old-fashioned concept, like an old-school mix tape or a lower-wattage version of P. Diddy's epochal '01 Bad Boy showcase, "The Saga Continues."
Though "Meet the Orphans" is studded with tales of social uplift (like the sluggish, serious "Angeles Y Demonios"), it's most agreeable when it sticks to fare like last summer's inescapable "Danza Kuduro," a warp-speed, tropical/meringue/pop redo of French Portuguese singer Lucenzo's hit "Vem dancar kuduro" (with Lucenzo included).
"Danza Kuduro" exemplifies what Omar and company do best: It's a sunny, up-tempo, utterly winning variation on Latin dance pop. "Orphans" otherwise contains seemingly infinite variations on reggaeton, though there's nothing else as great as the standard genre track "Hasta Abajo," which appears here in un-remixed form.
Earlier this year, a remixed version of "Hasta Abajo" appeared featuring Daddy Yankee, a reggaeton titan of similar rank with whom Omar had long feuded entertainingly. The remix was a jaw-dropping superpower summit, the equivalent of the Pacino-De Niro diner scene in "Heat." For all its pleasures, "Meet the Orphans" isn't the same without it.
Recommended tracks: "Danza Kuduro," "Good Looking," "Hasta Abajo"