Saturday, October 25, 2014

MENUDO-Explosion (1985)


Thought I would conclude my hot streak of 'M' artists with something 'explosively' good! Well, just about everything from the awesome 80's is explosively good to me anyway. Couple that with my love for Spanish music as well as my never-ending passion for the boybands—were they actually calling them boybands before the 90's?— and you get the very reasons why I have this second English album by the legendary Puerto Rican squad well-known to the world as MENUDO. Although on this particular album, all of the recordings are in English. How long ago was it when I first heard "Hold Me", the tune that sets off this 1985 music explosion? Well, I can tell you it definitely wasn't back in 1985; I wasn't even aware of Ricky Martin and company at that time. "Hold Me" had been included on that same old playlist of favorites that has included hits by Madonna, Michael Sembelllo, Michael Jackson and other popular 'M' artists alphabetically, and that playlist dates to 2008. So it's safe to say that I didn't become a MENUDO fan up until about six years ago. "Hold Me" surely was an instant hit with me because of that catchy, shimmery, glittery synthpop production that makes 80's music so irresistible. And not just that, but the innocent, young voices of the MENUDO boys themselves. Can I call them the Puerto Rican version of NEW EDITION? There's something about hearing kids sing always makes the music sound so magical to me. The album's second track is also an instant winner: "You And Me All The Way". This one gets catchy real quick, particularly when you get to the main chorus where the lyrics comprising the title are repeated against that catchy beat. A bit of rockin' goin' on with the poppin' on the peppy number "When I Dance With You". And is it just me, or do the boys doing backup on the title track two songs later sound like THE BEE GEES? "Explosion" gets catchy real quick, too. Starry n' dreamy is my newfound favorite, "Oh, My Love"; it's that The part of the main chorus where they sing 'oh-oh-oh my love' that keeps me hooked on a line here. Then it's bubblegum pop—quite literally, actually—on the fun tune "Chocolate Candy". Beyond the sticky n' sweet of the sugar-coated romantic words is a cool bossa nova-style rhythm that suckers me right into the music. The words are still a bit sticky n' sweet transferring from that one to Track #9's "Transformation", but just as much fun nonetheless, singing about how the girl is like a mannequin and all. Though the highlight for me about "Transformation" is the beat itself; it just makes me wanna move! And to top everything off in a blanket of that 80's romantic warmth, the MENUDO boys treat you to a lovely slow piece called "Please Be Good To Me". I probably should've taken off with MENUDO as I have somewhat with the spin-off boyband MDO a long time ago; perhaps this "Explosion" is just what I needed to set that chain reaction in motion:

1. Hold Me
2. You And Me All The Way
3. Come Home
4. When I Dance With You
5. Don't Hold Back
6. Explosion
7. Oh, My Love
8. Chocolate Candy
9. Transformation
10. Please Be Good To Me

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