Ricky Martin - Música + Alma + Sexo

Música + Alma + Sexo, Ricky Martin
Sony U.S. Latin, Puerto Rico
Rating: 48
by Blanca Méndez


Ricky Martin seems genuinely happy and at peace with the world these days, and I’m glad. I just wish he hadn’t gone all Zen life coach on us. We don’t need any more pop stars telling us to not be afraid to fly, especially not on an album titled Musica + Alma + Sexo. I miss the Vuelve-crossover era Ricky Martin who was a dynamic performer that could redeem even the most ridiculous of songs (see: “Shake Your Bon-Bon”) with sheer showmanship. This new Ricky Martin, though he may be fulfilled, is a straight up yawn.

For a few seconds, “Tu y Yo” sounds promising. The soft reverb and slow-burning vocals in the beginning hint at the possibility of a thoughtful morning after serenade, but the song ends up becoming a power ballad and ruining a moment on the album that could have been great. The yearning trumpet at the end is the icing on the overkill cake. The latest single to be released, “The Best Thing About Me Is You,” (featuring Joss Stone, for some reason) sends out some serious round the campfire Kumbaya vibes, with laughable lyrics and an equally laughable celebrate humanity-type video to accompany it.

Of the more upbeat songs, not one is a surefire club hit or devoid of some sort of “empowering” message. Album opener “Mas” features some clumsy, almost gimmicky Spanglish that leads into a chorus that is a lackluster attempt to recapture the magic of “The Cup of Life,” and “Shine” is a pretty standard dance track. Despite its mediocrity, “Shine” managed to worm its way into my heart solely on the strength of its star imagery. The album also includes two versions of “Frio.” The second, featuring Wisin y Yandel, I could have done without. The addition of the duo is superfluous and makes an otherwise sultry song a bit off-putting. Their brash and abrasive verse, while it isn’t particularly offensive outside of the fact that it’s lyrically and musically awful, still feels vulgar next to Martin’s smooth vocals. Also troubling about this song is that it is a love song to a woman. This album, that's all about preaching tolerance, was Martin's opportunity to step outside of the heteronormative framework, and it’s disappointing that he didn’t do that.

The album’s standout track is definitely “Te Busco y Te Alcanzo.” It doesn’t stand out for being particularly better than the rest, but for being really, really creepy. I never considered the line between love and infatuation to be a fine one, but it seems like in the realm of music, the border between these two concepts is hazy. Just think back to Blondie’s “One Way or Another” or Bee Gees’ “Nights on Broadway,” (that Bee Gees reference was strictly for my mother) and tell me those songs aren’t scary. Martin follows in these sinister footsteps with “Te Busco y Te Alcanzo,” telling the object of his desire “te quiero en mis brazos, sentirte temblando” and “te escondes de mi, pero al fin no te vas a salvar.” If someone writes you a love song like this, they will probably end up killing you.

Aside from that bizarre track, the album feels like a hippie beginner’s guide. Peace and love and all that good stuff that doesn’t really make for good music. But you can’t help but feel that Martin’s new free spirit image is completely sincere. He truly believes that he can “shine brighter than a rain of falling stars,” and I have to give him props for committing to what he believes in. That still doesn’t change the fact that Musica + Alma + Sexo should probably be repackaged in audio book format and sold in the self-help section at Barnes & Noble.


3 comments :

el amarillo said...

Bastante fácil ponerle bajos puntajes a estas estrellitas latinas (Juanes, Shakira, Ricky) la verdad no le veo utilidad a este tipo de reseñas, ni loco escucho ese disco, y no es por nada que haya leído acá, simplemente no me interesa, ni me causa curiosidad.

Por fa, el próximo acto kitsch que sea con Chayanne, a ese si lo odio! jajaja!

Marcus said...

I have no idea what is your problem, but "Musica + Alma + Sexo" is great album.

juan said...

i was sincerely curious about this album... yes, despite the preposterous acronym-title...

but i must say, i couldn't believe my ears when i gave it a listen at the record store's listening station...

boring? yes... a yawn? yes... a straight up yawn? well... a slightly queer-er yawn, maybe... a PG-friendly-queer, kinda like an episode of Will & Grace mixed with all that plastic hippieness that's just...

sigh

just to think about all the money they probably spent to make this album...

sigh

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