I’m not a Ricky Martin fan, and I don’t know much about him. That said, his first album in six years, “Musica + Alma + Sexo,” (translation: Music, Soul and Sex), gives me a bit more insight, even if it is in mostly in Spanish - a language that I admit, I’ve only studied for a few years and haven’t mastered.
In the current landscape of imitation digitized Europop invading the American mainstream, it is increasingly difficult for music snobs everywhere to differentiate between what is and isn’t “genuine” art. The argument is that few pop singers have voices these days conveying any emotion or connection to the topics they are singing about.
Whether you love him, hate him, or wish to berate him, Martin is a pop music veteran who has seen some crossover success and career highs and lows.
That said, though I don’t understand
what he’s saying, and most of the music production fits the mold of
current radio pop, Martin emotes feelings that are powerful. His
heartfelt croon carries the most dynamic, sounding weary, but wise and
rejuvenated, but devastated from song to song.
In that sense exclusively, Martin communicates
what his album title evokes. And knowing a thing or two about
his personal life definitely provides context. Acknowledging his sexual
orientation publicly after being gay and closeted for 10 years is the
kind of thing you’d hope would affect someone’s art for the better.
For Ricky Martin’s new album, I think it does.
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