ROBYN'S REVIEW:

By: Robyn Barnette




PERFORMER: ENRIQUE IGLESIAS
ALBUM TITLE: ENRIQUE IGLESIAS

The way Enrique Iglesias is rolling these days, it's hard to believe that he really is the son of legendary performer Julio Iglesias. And after making a big splash in the Latin scene with both a religious experience and a theme to a very popular Spanish telenovela (simply represented by a sunflower, of all things!?!?!), he has certainly followed in his father's footsteps in establishing himself as Latin's most graceful vocalist. But he's already surpassed his father in two respects. One, establishing himself as Latin's most sexiest vocalist, with his tall frame, dark skin, and handsome "GQ" looks. Two, generating a fan base that consists of more female admirers than the number of those Wilt Chamberlain slept with. Still, Enrique has a long way to go if he wants to catch up with his old man. If that is the case, his self-titled debut off the Fonovisa label has gotten him off to a solid start. But should Julio be worried about his son's success? Well, with this debut and the way his son's career is going, he should be.

Enrique has two versions of himself walking upon his plains. The first version is a honey-toned tenor who carries a vocal style similar to that of Ricky Martin, but with more passion and dexterity. The version of Enrique embellishes the romantic aspect of Latin and gives us the idea he's following in his father's footsteps. He even sounds like a young Julio Iglesias. The second version of Enrique is a tenor who's musical style relies mostly on lavish Latin pop ballads, much less similar to the material Ricky Martin has on "A Medio Vivir."

The first eight tracks off this album illustrate Enrique's two versions of himself, and just one peep will convince the listener that he has come correct. "No Llores Por Ti" and "Si Tu Te Vas" are two good examples of his illustration, but the criticism there may be that the songs don't have a lot of emotion. Make no mistake, the best example is "Por Amarte," for which he sings the theme to the Spanish telenovela ("Marisol," for those of you who don't know). "Experiencia Religosa" sports a gospel-influenced piano base along with a mass choir toward the end. But the Latin pop is still apparent in the track, and it's religious theme doesn't change the song's quality. The only non-ballad track on the album is "Muñeca Cruel," with its feel-good harmony and acoustic guitar licks.

Enrique's mark is all over his debut. His sensuous vocals on top of pop ballads are succulent enough to quench anyone's Latin thirst. All ten tracks paint a portrait of the poetic quality in his music, and his album displays this portrait with grace, heart, and emotion. What stands out the most from this portrait is that he neither exaggerates the romantic aspect of Latin, nor does he stray away from it. He remains focused on his style of romantic Latin and gives us exactly what we would expect from someone who's the son of Julio. If you love Julio, you already know how good he is. But with his self-titled opus, Enrique's managed to duplicate his father's success and take it one step further. All praises are due.


ROBYN'S RATING: 4 MICS--SLAMMIN', DEFINITE SATISFACTION

ALBUM DETAILS:
Performer: Enrique Iglesias Musical Category: World/International--Latin
Album Title: Enrique IglesiasProducer(s): Rafael Pérez-Bojita, Roberto Morales
Record Company: Fonovisa Engineer(s): Eric Ratz, et al.
Distributor: Fonovisa Studio/Live: Studio
UPC: 5330805062 Stereo/Mono: Stereo
Release Year: 1995 Guest Artists: Marco Antonio Solis
Album Length: N/A Availability: CD/Cassette


DATE OF REVIEW: August 5, 1996