The Record Music Magazine
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ENRIQUE IGLESIAS - INSOMNIAC - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: *****

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS - INSOMNIAC Latin singer Julio Iglesias briefly held the world record for the most sold albums by a solo artist; but in this century, his son Enrique has outdone him to become his own brand of pop royalty. The thirty-something pop wunderkind counts popes, princes and presidents, as well as music lovers of all ages, nationalities and social backgrounds, as fans and admirers. In a career thatís a mere 12 years old, heís already managed to establish himself as one of the biggest top 40 artists of all time.

Countless sleepless nights in the making, Insomniac is the first English album from the multi-platinum heartthrob in almost four years, and comes packed with the kind of romantic fanstasy pop thatís now become his trademark. A lushly produced set, the 15 tracks make it very clear that heís not gunning for the Latin pop market. Reminiscent of classic pop albums of the 1980s, this is a contemporary pop album, with soft and hard surfaces, soulful, tasteful vocals and rich melodies that are sturdy, and not hokey-pokey. The catchy first single Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song) (in which a ping pong ball makes a very special appearance as a percussion instrument) rocketed up the charts worldwide and will no doubt be followed by more hits from this CD; likely candidates include the crunky hip-hop led Push with rapper Lilí Wayne, and the Michael Jackson like crowd pleasing Ring My Bells. As usual, love songs remain Enriqueís bread and butter, so itís not surprising that the most effective tracks are the slow jams. Cuts like Donít You Forget About Me with its dramatic guitar accompaniment will effectively pluck your heartstrings, as will the upbeat poignant Miss You written for his girlfriend, tennis superstar Anna Kournikova.

Though the 15 tracks were cut by a variety of producers, theyíre cohesive, making this a satisfying listen. He may be more of a balladeer than a dance floor king, but as Wish I Was Your Lover demonstrates, Enrique can more than hold his own when the tempo needs to be up. While he may have the hand of top producers guiding his career, the voice and the words are all his on this release.

The albumís best track, without a doubt is Stay Here Tonight. If ever released as a single, it could well be one of the biggest hits in his career. Trying to sound like Lionel Richie, Enrique croons through the synth keyboards with his own shade of gauzy elegance; itís the baby maker on Insomniac. The verdict: Enrique fans can rejoice, the Latin lover delivers another syrupy album so riddled with Cupidís arrows that it will probably require its own filing cabinet. Well recommended.

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