Ricky Martin
by Ricky Martin, pop (1999)
Sony/Columbia, ASIN B00000IX6H


It's absolutely disgusting that a nice old lady like me can't buy a Ricky Martin CD without getting odd looks from the cashier girl. What, only prepubescent girls can listen to Ricky Martin? Young people, tsk tsk.

For one thing, this CD, to quote hubby, simply rocks! That's right. Hubby and I were arguing whether to get this one or that Jennifer "Big Butt" Lopez's CD. We tossed a coin, and Ricky won. And my, this CD is fun, fun, fun!

It starts off with the overplayed but positively rollicking Livin' La Vida Loca. That song's trumpet riff is simply kinetically-charged, and despite the song's sometimes corny wordings, it's perfect to start off the Ricky Martin party. Bring on the bon-bons, darling'.

Oh yes, another favorite song of mine, that absolutely cheeky Shake Your Bon-Bons. It's also, unfortunately, the only naughty song other that LDVL in this otherwise holding-hands puppy-love tinged album. I wanna be your Latin lover, shake your bon-bons... er, I don't think he means chocolates, do you?

Then there's the song Eva Peron never sang to Che Guevarra, the Madonna-Ricky Martin duet Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazon), a slow, dreamy, rather sensual ballad is only enhanced by the chilling choruses and bridge. Although Ricky sounds tad too intimidated in this ballad, as if he's scared of La Madama M. Madonna definitely takes the center stage here, relegating Ricky to some sort of thankless back-up vocals duty. Still, I love this song. It can make me dream of languid ocean bubbles and dolphins. And no, I'm not on illegal substances. Ricky's much more comfortable singing with Norwegian lass Meja. Private Emotion sounds like something Starship would put out in the 1980's - fun, bouncy, and totally singalong-ish.

Whatever you may say about Ricky's manufactured-ness, sexual orientation, or bland PR, this guy can definitely burn the hot pants off anyone. Listen to him in his uptempo beats: that man can exude red hot sexual exuberance even when singing something disgustingly mawkish like holding one's hands - you can picture him gyrating those hips in almost orgasmic, hedonistic, not-so-innocent abandon while singing about corny puppy love. That's the problem with some of the songs: they try to castrate this man, making him sing about looking into her (his?) blue yes and holding her/his hands and missing that person because they are apart... gag. Even worse, in a token attempt to woo boring, stodgy mainstream Top 40 listeners, Queen of Muzak Diane Warren gets to contribute some of the blandest, most cloying songs I've ever heard (I Count The Minutes and You Stay With Me) - these songs deserve to be Armageddonized along with that irritating Aerosmith song from that movie. Ricky doesn't get himself involved in the production (hence the manufactured tag) so here's my memo to Ricky's producers Robbi Rosa, Desmond Child, and Emilio Estefan Jr: stop injecting estrogen into that poor man! Let him sway his hips! You can't make a mensch out of a hot Latin lover, darlings! Now get him to sing me a song about hot, torrid, sultry, sweaty, rumpy-pumpy salsa beat-tinged nights. I insist.

And one more thing: who cares if Ricky is straight or gay? Gay schmay. If he's straight, he can come try and woo me. If he's gay, we can get together and talk about my favorite topic: guys. Maybe we can even share fashion tips.

Rating: 90


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