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Ricky Martin|Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin

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It was just a matter of time before Ricky Martin broke into the pop mainstream. By the end of the '90s, he was no longer the kid that used to be in Menudo or the General Hospital heartthrob -- he was a genuine star, ready to bust out of the Latin pop ghetto. His dynamic performance at the 1999 Grammys stole the show, announcing his presence to middle America -- and conveniently paving the way for the May release of Ricky Martin, his second eponymous album but first English-language record. Like most records that are crafted to sell an artist to a larger audience -- think Celine Dion's Falling Into You -- Ricky Martin is a big, bold album with something to please everyone, from his longtime Latin fans to housewives with a weakness for dramatic ballads. Reportedly two years in the making, the album never makes a wrong move, balancing infectious dance-pop with immaculately crafted power ballads, mid-tempo pop, straight-ahead rockers, and, of course, the inevitable cameos: Madonna on "Be Careful (Cuidado con Mi Corazón)" and Meja on "Private Emotion." Since each track has been so carefully constructed to stand on its own (most likely as a single), the album plays as a series of moments, some more thrilling than others. Although there is inarguably some filler cluttering the record -- and although the production sounds weirdly dated, with tracks like "I Count the Minutes" and "She's All I Ever Had" sounding for all the world as if they were cut in 1985 -- most of the moments work and the opening quartet ("Livin' la Vida Loca," "Spanish Eyes," "She's All I Ever Had," and the irresistibly stupid "Shake Your Bon-Bon") is positively intoxicating. If the rest of the album doesn't live up to the opening salvo, Martin does carry the day with his fine voice and undeniable charisma -- even when the songs aren't distinctive, he brings them alive. And that's the sign of a true star.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin

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1
Livin' la Vida Loca (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:03

Brian Coleman, Coordinator - Charles Dye, Mixing Engineer - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Craig Lozowick, 2nd Engineer - Craig Lozowick, Recording Engineer - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Desmond Child, Producer - Germán Ortiz, 2nd Engineer - Iris Aponte, Coordinator - Nathan Malki, 2nd Engineer - Nathan Malki, Recording Engineer - Rafael Solano, Percussion - Randy Cantor, Arranger - Randy Cantor, Keyboards - Randy Cantor, Programmer - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Rusty Anderson, Guitar - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Tony Concepción, Flugelhorn - Tony Concepción, Trumpet

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment Netherlands B.V.

2
Spanish Eyes (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:05

Aimee Kreston, Violin - Amy Hershberger, Violin - Anatol Rosinsky, Violin - Armen Garabedian, Violin - Assa Drori, Violin - Bob Sanov, Violin - Brian Benning, Violin - Brian Coleman, Coordinator - Cem Sarihan, 2nd Engineer - Charles Dye, Mixing Engineer - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Craig Lozowick, 2nd Engineer - Craig Lozowick, Recording Engineer - Dan Smith, Acoustic Cello - Dennis Molchan, Violin - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Desmond Child, Producer - Elizabeth Wilson, Violin - Elliot Scheiner, Recording Engineer - Henry Ferber, Violin - Henry Gronnier, Violin - Héctor Garrido, Arranger - Héctor Garrido, Conductor - Igor Kiskachi, Violin - Iris Aponte, Coordinator - Jennifer Munday, Violin - Jerry Epstein, Viola - John Hayhurst, Viola - John Scanlon, Viola - John Walz, Acoustic Cello - Jules Gondar, Recording Engineer - Kenny Aronoff, Drums - Lisa Johnson, Violin - Lynn Grants, Viola - Manny López, Guitar - Maurice Grants, Acoustic Cello - Michael Ferril, Violin - Murray Adler, Violin - Nathan Malki, 2nd Engineer - Nathan Malki, Recording Engineer - Paquito Hechavarria, Piano - Randy Cantor, Arranger - Randy Cantor, Keyboards - Randy Cantor, Programmer - Rebecca Bunnel, Violin - Ricardo Suárez, Bass - Richard Treat, Acoustic Cello - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robert Berg, Viola - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Shari Zippert, Violin - Thomas Diener, Viola - Tiffany Hu, Violin - Tod French, Acoustic Cello - Vaje Ayrikian, Acoustic Cello - Yohana Krejci, Violin

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

3
She's All I Ever Had (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:55

Anatol Rosinsky, Violin - Bob Peterson, Violin - Bob Sanov, Violin - Bruce Dukov, Violin - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Clayton Haslop, Violin - Dan Smith, Acoustic Cello - Daniel López, Percussion - David Campbell, Arranger - David Campbell, Conductor - David Stenske, Viola - Denyse Buffom, Viola - Ed Williams, 2nd Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Recording Engineer - Emilio Estefan Jr., Executive Producer - Endre Granat, Violin - Eric Bazilian, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Bazilian, Electric Guitar - Eve Butler, Violin - Freddy Piñero, Jr., Recording Engineer - George Noriega, Composer - George Noriega, Keyboards - George Noriega, Lyricist - George Noriega, Producer - George Noriega, Sitar - Gerry Hilera, Violin - Gustavo Bonnet, 2nd Engineer - Harris Goldman, Violin - JOE CHICCARELLI, Engineer - Javier Garza, Recording Engineer - Joel Derouin, Violin - John Scanlon, Viola - John Wittenberg, Violin - Jon Secada, Background Vocal - Jon Secada, Composer - Jon Secada, Lyricist - Jon Secada, Producer - Jorge Casas, Bass - Ken Yerke, Violin - Kenny Aronoff, Drums - Larry Corbett, Acoustic Cello - Marcelo Anez Fontana, Recording Engineer - Matt Funes, Viola - Michele Richards, Violin - Mick Guzauski, Mixing Engineer - Miwako Watanabe, Violin - Murray Adler, Violin - Olbin Burgos, Shaker - Randall Barlow, Drum Programmer - Randall Barlow, Recording Engineer - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Rudy Stein, Acoustic Cello - Ruth Bruegger, Violin - Scott Canto, Recording Engineer - Sebastián Krys, Recording Engineer - Stefanie Fife, Acoustic Cello - Steve Richards, Acoustic Cello - Susan Chatman, Violin - Suzie Katayama, Acoustic Cello - Tommy Anthony, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Tommy Anthony, Electric Guitar - Tony Mardini, 2nd Engineer - Virginia Frazier, Violin - Walter Afanasieff, Producer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment Netherlands B.V.

4
Shake Your Bon-Bon (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:03:12

Charles Dye, Mixing Engineer - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Dan Warner, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Daniel López, Percussion - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Donna Allen, Background Vocal - Ed Williams, 2nd Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Recording Engineer - Emilio Estafan Jr., Executive Producer - Eric Bazilian, Electric Guitar - Freddy Piñero, Jr., Recording Engineer - George Noriega, Composer - George Noriega, Lyricist - George Noriega, Organ - George Noriega, Producer - Gustavo Bonnet, 2nd Engineer - Hernan T. Mulet, Horns - Javier Garza, Recording Engineer - Kenny Aronoff, Drums - Peter McCabe, Engineer - Randall Barlow, Drum Programmer - Randall Barlow, Recording Engineer - Randy Cantor, Keyboards - Ricky Martin, Performer - Rita Quintero, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Rusty Anderson, Electric Guitar - Sebastián Krys, Recording Engineer - Tom McWilliams, Mixing Engineer - Tony Mardini, 2nd Engineer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

5
Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazón) (Album Version)
Ricky Martin & Madonna
00:04:01

Alan Grunfeld, Violin - Armen Garabedian, Violin - Barbra Porter, Violin - Berj Garabedian, Violin - Brian Dembow, Viola - Brian Leonard, Violin - Bruce Dukov, Violin - Chris Apostle, Project Coordinator - Damian LeGassick, Keyboards - Damian LeGassick, Programmer - Dan Neufeld, Viola - Danita Ruiz, Project Coordinator - Darius Campo, Violin - David Ewart, Violin - Dennis Karmazyn, Acoustic Cello - Endre Granat, Violin - Gil Romero, Violin - Horia Moroaica, Violin - Janet Lakatos, Viola - Jeff Gregory, 2nd Engineer - Jenny Bellusci, Violin - Jorge Calandrelli, Arranger - Jorge Calandrelli, Conductor - Jorge Moraga, Viola - Kwihee Shamban, Violin - Lilly Ho Chen, Violin - Madonna, Composer - Madonna, Lyricist - Madonna, Performer - Madonna, Producer - Mari Tsumura, Violin - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer - Mark Markman, Violin - Mihail Zinovyev, Viola - Pat Johnson, Violin - Pat McCarthy, Mixing Engineer - Pat McCarthy, Recording Engineer - Rachel Purkin, Violin - Razdan Kuyumjian, Violin - Richard Altenbach, Violin - Ricky Martin, Performer - Rob Chiarelli, Recording Engineer - Sheldon Sanov, Violin - Steve Erdody, Acoustic Cello - Suzie Katayama, Acoustic Cello - Vicky Miscolczy, Viola - Wassim Zarick, 2nd Engineer - William Orbit, Composer - William Orbit, Guitar - William Orbit, Keyboards - William Orbit, Lyricist - William Orbit, Producer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

6
I Am Made Of You (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:38

Alex Saris, Drums - Andy Stein, Violin - Ann Leathers, Violin - Barry Findair, Viola - Brian Coleman, Coordinator - Carol Paisner, Violoncello - Charles Dye, Mixing Engineer - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Craig Lozowick, 2nd Engineer - Craig Lozowick, Recording Engineer - David Campbell, Arranger - David Campbell, Conductor - David Heiss, Acoustic Cello - David Heiss, Violoncello - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Desmond Child, Producer - Elizabeth Lim, Violin - Eric Bazilian, Guitar - Gerald Tarack, Violin - Germán Ortiz, 2nd Engineer - Iris Aponte, Coordinator - John Pace, Recording Engineer - Joyce Hamman, Violin - Jules Gondar, Recording Engineer - Juliet Haffner, Viola - Karen Karlsrud, Violin - Karen Ritscher, Viola - Kenneth Burward-Hoy, Viola - Lamar Alsop, Violin - Laura Oatts, Violin - Laura Seaton-Finn, Violin - Margaret Magill, Violin - Mark Shuman, Acoustic Cello - Mark Shuman, Violoncello - Martin Agee, Violin - Maryhelen Ewing, Viola - Ming Yeh, Violin - Nathan Malki, Recording Engineer - Rafael Solano, Percussion - Randy Cantor, Arranger - Randy Cantor, Keyboards - Randy Cantor, Programmer - Regis Iandiorio, Violin - Ricardo Suárez, Bass - Richard Locker, Acoustic Cello - Richard Locker, Violoncello - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robert Chausow, Violin - Roberta Cooper, Acoustic Cello - Roberta Cooper, Violoncello - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Draco Rosa, Electric Guitar - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

7
Love You For A Day (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:03:44

Daniel López, Percussion - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Ed Williams, 2nd Engineer - Emilio Estefan Jr., Executive Producer - Freddy Piñero, Jr., Engineer - Gustavo Bonnet, 2nd Engineer - Jules Gondar, Engineer - Randall Barlow, Arranger - Randall Barlow, Composer - Randall Barlow, Lyricist - Randall Barlow, Producer - Randall Barlow, Programmer - Randall Barlow, Trumpet - René Toledo, Guitar - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Arranger - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Sebastián Krys, Engineer - Sebastián Krys, Mixing Engineer - Tony Mardini, 2nd Engineer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

8
Private Emotion (Ricky Martin & Meja)
Ricky Martin & Meja
00:04:00

Brian Coleman, Coordinator - Charles Dye, Mixing Engineer - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Craig Lozowick, 2nd Engineer - Craig Lozowick, Recording Engineer - David Campbell, Arranger - David Campbell, Conductor - Denyse Buffom, Viola - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Producer - E. Bazilian, Composer - E. Bazilian, Lyricist - Eric Bazilian, Guitar - Eric Bazilian, Mandolin - Eve Sprecher, Violin - Germán Ortiz, 2nd Engineer - Gyan, Background Vocal - Hugh McDonald, Bass - Iris Aponte, Coordinator - Joel Derouin, Violin - John Scanlon, Viola - Jules Gondar, Recording Engineer - Larry Corbett, Acoustic Cello - Lee Levin, Drums - Luis Enrique, Percussion - Meja, Vocal - Michelle Richard, Violin - Nathan Malki, 2nd Engineer - Nathan Malki, Recording Engineer - R. Hyman, Composer - R. Hyman, Lyricist - Ricky Martin featuring Meja, Performer - Rik Pekkonen, Recording Engineer - Rob Hyman, Organ - Robert Valdez, 2nd Engineer - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Suzie Katayama, Acoustic Cello

(P) 1999 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT (Netherlands) B.V.

9
La Copa de la Vida (La Cancion Oficial de la Copa Mundial, Francia '98) (Spanglish Radio Edit)
Ricky Martin
00:04:37

Angie Rosa, Background Vocal - Archie Peña, Percussion - Chris Wiggins, 2nd Engineer - Dana Teboe, Trombone - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Desmond Child, Producer - Eric Kerley, French Horn - Javier Garza, Mixing Engineer - John Kricker, Trombone - Juan Vicente Zambrano, Arranger - Luis Gómez Escolar, Composer - Luis Gómez Escolar, Lyricist - Lázaro Rodriguez, Guitar - Léster Méndez, Programmer - Manny López, Guitar - Rafael Solano, Percussion - Ricky Martin, Background Vocal - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Steve Menezes, 2nd Engineer - Tony Concepción, Cornet - Tony Concepción, Flugelhorn - Tony Concepción, Trumpet

(P) 1998 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
You Stay With Me (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:12

Alfred Brown, Viola - Andrew Stein, Violin - Anthony Posk, Violin - Belinda Whitney-Barratt, Violin - Brian Coleman, Coordinator - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Craig Lozowick, 2nd Engineer - Dale Stuckenbruck, Violin - David Campbell, Arranger - David Campbell, Conductor - David Heiss, Acoustic Cello - David Heiss, Violoncello - Debra Shufelt, Viola - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Producer - Diane Eve Warren, Composer - Diane Eve Warren, Lyricist - Diva Goodfriend-Koven, Flute - Edward Kuhn, Violin - Edward Salkin, Flute - Eliot Rosoff, Violin - Erik Friedlander, Acoustic Cello - Erik Friedlander, Violoncello - Ethel Abelson, Violin - Gerald Tarack, Violin - Iris Aponte, Coordinator - Jim Porto, 2nd Engineer - John Dexter, Viola - John Pace, Recording Engineer - Juan Vicente Zambrano, Keyboards - Jules Gondar, Recording Engineer - Julian Barber, Viola - Julie Green, Acoustic Cello - Julie Green, Violoncello - Juliet Haffner, Viola - Karen Milne, Violin - Laura Seaton-Finn, Violin - Lee Levin, Drums - Manny López, Guitar - Margaret Magill, Violin - Marti Sweet, Violin - Matthew Raimondi, Violin - Max Ellen, Violin - Mick Guzauski, Background Vocal - Mick Guzauski, Mixing Engineer - Ming Yeh, Violin - Natalie Cummins, Violin - Nathan Malki, 2nd Engineer - Nathan Malki, Recording Engineer - Rafael Solano, Percussion - Regis Iandiorio, Violin - Richard Locker, Acoustic Cello - Richard Locker, Violoncello - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Sue Ann Carwell, Background Vocal - Susan Pray, Viola - Todd Reynolds, Violin

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

11
Livin' La Vida Loca (Spanish Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:02

Brian Coleman, Coordinator - Charles Dye, Mixing Engineer - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Craig Lozowick, 2nd Engineer - Craig Lozowick, Recording Engineer - Desmond Child, Composer - Desmond Child, Executive Producer - Desmond Child, Lyricist - Desmond Child, Producer - Emilio Estefan, Jr., Executive Producer - Germán Ortiz, 2nd Engineer - Iris Aponte, Coordinator - Luis Gómez Escolar, Composer - Luis Gómez Escolar, Lyricist - Michael Greene, Executive Producer - Nathan Malki, 2nd Engineer - Nathan Malki, Recording Engineer - Rafael Solano, Percussion - Randy Cantor, Arranger - Randy Cantor, Keyboards - Randy Cantor, Programmer - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Robi Draco Rosa, Background Vocal - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Rusty Anderson, Guitar - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Tony Concepción, Flugelhorn - Tony Concepción, Trumpet - Vlado Meller, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

12
I Count The Minutes (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:17

Alfred Figueroa, 2nd Engineer - Claytoven Richardson, Background Vocal - Conesha Monet, Background Vocal - Dan Shea, Keyboards - Dan Shea, Programmer - Dave Frazier, Recording Engineer - Dave Reitzas, Recording Engineer - David Gleeson, Engineer - Diane Eve Warren, Composer - Diane Eve Warren, Lyricist - Ed Williams, 2nd Engineer - Greg Bleck, Programmer - Javier Garza, Recording Engineer - Michael Landau, Electric Guitar - Mick Marshall, 2nd Engineer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Ricky Martin, Background Vocal - Ricky Martin, Performer - Skyler Jett, Background Vocal - Walter Afanasieff, Drum Programmer - Walter Afanasieff, Keyboards - Walter Afanasieff, Producer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

13
Bella (She's All I Ever Had) (Album Version)
Ricky Martin
00:04:54

Anatol Rosinsky, Violin - Bob Peterson, Violin - Bob Sanov, Violin - Bruce Dukov, Violin - Charles Dye, Recording Engineer - Clayton Haslop, Violin - Dan Smith, Acoustic Cello - Daniel López, Percussion - David Campbell, Arranger - David Campbell, Conductor - David Stenske, Viola - Denyse Buffom, Viola - Ed Williams, 2nd Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Recording Engineer - Emilio Estefan Jr., Executive Producer - Endre Granat, Violin - Eric Bazilian, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Bazilian, Electric Guitar - Eve Butler, Violin - Freddy Piñero, Jr., Recording Engineer - George Noriega, Composer - George Noriega, Keyboards - George Noriega, Lyricist - George Noriega, Producer - George Noriega, Sitar - Gerry Hilera, Violin - Gustavo Bonnet, 2nd Engineer - Harris Goldman, Violin - JOE CHICCARELLI, Engineer - Javier Garza, Recording Engineer - Joel Derouin, Violin - John Scanlon, Viola - John Wittenberg, Violin - Jon Secada, Background Vocal - Jon Secada, Composer - Jon Secada, Lyricist - Jon Secada, Producer - Jorge Casas, Bass - Ken Yerke, Violin - Kenny Aronoff, Drums - Larry Corbett, Acoustic Cello - Luis Gómez Escolar, Composer - Luis Gómez Escolar, Lyricist - Marcelo Anez Fontana, Recording Engineer - Matt Funes, Viola - Michele Richards, Violin - Mick Guzauski, Mixing Engineer - Miwako Watanabe, Violin - Murray Adler, Violin - Olbin Burgos, Shaker - Randall Barlow, Drum Programmer - Randall Barlow, Recording Engineer - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist - Rudy Stein, Acoustic Cello - Ruth Bruegger, Violin - Scott Canto, Recording Engineer - Sebastián Krys, Recording Engineer - Stefanie Fife, Acoustic Cello - Steve Richards, Acoustic Cello - Susan Chatman, Violin - Suzie Katayama, Acoustic Cello - Tommy Anthony, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Tommy Anthony, Electric Guitar - Tony Mardini, 2nd Engineer - Virginia Frazier, Violin - Walter Afanasieff, Producer

(P) 1999 Sony Music Entertainment (Holland) B.V.

14
María (Pablo Flores Spanglish Radio Edit)
Ricky Martin
00:04:30

Deborah Castillero, Lyricist - Javier Garza, Producer - Javier Garza, Re-Mixer - K.C. Porter, Arranger - K.C. Porter, Composer - K.C. Porter, Lyricist - K.C. Porter, Producer - Luis Gómez Escolar, Composer - Luis Gómez Escolar, Lyricist - Pablo Flores, Producer - Pablo Flores, Re-Mixer - Ricky Martin, Performer - Robi Draco Rosa, Co-Producer - Robi Rosa, Composer - Robi Rosa, Lyricist

(P) 1995 Sony Music Entertainment México, S.A. de C.V.

Album Description

It was just a matter of time before Ricky Martin broke into the pop mainstream. By the end of the '90s, he was no longer the kid that used to be in Menudo or the General Hospital heartthrob -- he was a genuine star, ready to bust out of the Latin pop ghetto. His dynamic performance at the 1999 Grammys stole the show, announcing his presence to middle America -- and conveniently paving the way for the May release of Ricky Martin, his second eponymous album but first English-language record. Like most records that are crafted to sell an artist to a larger audience -- think Celine Dion's Falling Into You -- Ricky Martin is a big, bold album with something to please everyone, from his longtime Latin fans to housewives with a weakness for dramatic ballads. Reportedly two years in the making, the album never makes a wrong move, balancing infectious dance-pop with immaculately crafted power ballads, mid-tempo pop, straight-ahead rockers, and, of course, the inevitable cameos: Madonna on "Be Careful (Cuidado con Mi Corazón)" and Meja on "Private Emotion." Since each track has been so carefully constructed to stand on its own (most likely as a single), the album plays as a series of moments, some more thrilling than others. Although there is inarguably some filler cluttering the record -- and although the production sounds weirdly dated, with tracks like "I Count the Minutes" and "She's All I Ever Had" sounding for all the world as if they were cut in 1985 -- most of the moments work and the opening quartet ("Livin' la Vida Loca," "Spanish Eyes," "She's All I Ever Had," and the irresistibly stupid "Shake Your Bon-Bon") is positively intoxicating. If the rest of the album doesn't live up to the opening salvo, Martin does carry the day with his fine voice and undeniable charisma -- even when the songs aren't distinctive, he brings them alive. And that's the sign of a true star.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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