Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ricky Martin-Life (2005)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 8, 2016

From the smooth jazz nightlife of trumpeter Rick Braun to the pop music "Life" of the Latin sensation who becomes the third 'Rick'—or at least a variation of it—to get some of the "Music Spectrum" spotlight.....and for the third time, actually. Focusing on the 'R' entries in my music collection has now given me the opportunity to reconnect with the same guy who rocked the charts with his smash hit, "Livin' La Vida Loca". Glad that I did, for this particular album of mostly English recordings somehow was overseen, and I thought I'd heard all of his English albums. His Spanish albums, well, that's another story; I'm still playing catch-up to quite a few of those, and I owe my ears a healthy dose of pure Spanish music altogether. Though I would get a good helping of classic Latin Ricky anyways, largely from his brilliant Spanish interpretations of two of my favorite jams: "I Don't Care" and "It's Alright". The English version of the former has some serious bounce to the beat that, when coupled with the slight Middle Eastern stringed accompaniment and the ceremonial-like drum beats, plus the flawless rap break, creates quite the explosively hip attraction! It's companion, "Qué Más Da", is even better in the form of the exotically dancey 'Luny Tunes Reggaeton Mix'; it's just so cool with so much more flavor going on with the original version, the best part that's performed entirely in my favorite foreign language, of course. The English version of the latter—and its Spanish equivalent, "Déjate Llevar" is just the kind of feel-good-and-let-loose Ricky Martin festival that I adore! So many colorful musical textures blended together on this three-and-a-half minute party, with my favorite part being the striking upstep in the tempo during the midway break. The Latin flavor is to be savored elsewhere as well; one of Ricky's guest MC's can be heard laying down the rhymes in Spanish further on "I Am" (a seriously sexy song with some more of that serious hard-and-hip bounce to the beat!), "Drop It On Me" (simply classic Ricky Martin Latin-inspired electro-dance goodness here) and, one that totally makes me wanna come alive, "This Is Good" (the backup voices wailing 'way-oh' just makes the music too infectious to ignore!). I'll tell you what else is good: "I Won't Desert You". This is one of those songs that gradually sneaks up on me until blossoms into something really amazing when it's all said and done. The choice of music arrangement fits well—the haunting, almost ghostly Middle Eastern-inspired vocals of the woman giving the song an eerie, deserted feel as Ricky delivers the words about a life what is harder without the one whom he sings about. This one's good too: "Save The Dance"; it shows that mellow Señor Martin is just as entertaining as Señor Mr. Martin. That side of him is revealed a second time on the concluding piece, "Sleep Tonight", though this time with a lively and more upbeat pop/rock element that truly engages me into the song. It was a different kind of rock altogether that had grabbed my attention on the opening cut, "Till I Get To You". Very alternative, and a very distinctive U2 feel an flow to it, yet a very cool sound with a lot going on nonetheless! While Ricky's singing about the one who is his only temptation, I pretty much fell into temptation myself having gotten entranced into the wild cacophony off the production. Fun times I had making this album a part of my Monday nightlife, and perhaps it will be fun for you as well; after all, life is what you make it:

1. Till I Get To You
2. I Won't Desert You
3. I Don't Care
4. Stop Time Tonight
5. Life
6. I Am
7. It's Alright
8. Drop It On Me
9. This Is Good
10. Save The Dance
11. Qué Más Da (I Don't Care) [Luny Tunes Reggaeton Mix]
12. Déjate Llevar (It's Alright)
13. Sleep Tight

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