When the Night is Over
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Ride on the Rhythm C+
That's it. I'm officially depressed. Here's a house/techno song that I'm actually enjoying for the first thirty seconds. After that it gets boring and old. But until then, this was a good thirty seconds! A semi-danceable groove keeps the beat and it doesn't change whatsoever. Anthony delivers a crystal clear vocal performance. They bring in a rapper in the middle of this even though they didn't really need to. Of course, they didn't really need to make this song, but who am I to say anything? The fade-out consisting of looping a micro-second of the last moment of the song was better than a simple fade-out. To me, that's automatically indicative of the level of songwriting we're dealing with. Vaguely creative, but they weren't willing to spend much time with it. So, why should I spend much time with this review? They probably wrote half this song in the eight to ten minutes I spent listening to this track and writing this review. What a wasted life I lead!
When the Night is Over B-
I should be out making babies or something! That's right! BABIES!! For a bland love ballad, I'll have to say that isn't the worst I heard. It's a crying shame that they couldn't have bothered writing a better melody for it. What they have is slightly worthwhile I guess. It's awfully repetitive and trite, though. I can't just overlook that fact. Extra points for the instrumentation. It's all very tasteful, and even contains a few interesting string sections and, er, a light accordion? Even though this song is longer than hell, the instrumentation makes it nice.
Walk Away F
I'm going to throw two names out at you, and I hope you didn't just eat: Michael Bolton and Diane Warren. No, no, don't think I'm trying to be cruel to you by publishing the names of the equivalent of Lord Voldemort in the music world. They actually co-wrote this nonsensical ballad. As you might expect, it's melody is as palatable as fish left out in the sun for a couple of days, and it's as over dramatic as I'm being when I say: "I WANT TO DIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
If I Had the Opportunity B+
I could think of worse things than this straight ahead house-pop track. This is another one of those songs that's really enjoyable for the first thirty minutes but it tends to grow much duller by the end. Somehow, it manages to not grow tedious, which is valuable. I like that there's a section in the middle of this when we can hear these subdued trumpet hits. Ah, that reminds me of Oingo Boingo. I should write more Oingo Boingo reviews... The xylophone at the end of this reminds me of Earth, Wind & Fire. Now I'm going to echo about 10 percent of the reader comments I get: Why am I wasting my time? Eh, I like this song, so quit complaining!
Let Me Love You B
OK, Marc Anthony. You can love me ....... if you want. I thought you were married to Jennifer Lopez, though. She has very large ....... television sets. Well movie stars would have to, you know. I was thinking about calling this the song of the album, but for some reason they're continuing to overextend these tracks. To give pop fans some credit, they do have admirable attention spans! Then again, I doubt many of them actually listen to the songs like I am now. I listened to this as background music before writing these track reviews, and I enjoyed everything much more then. Anyway, this song has a neat, danceable groove, and the hook is kind of nice. They bring back the xylophones at the end, which at least proves that they wanted this song to extend beyond cheap idiocy.
It's Alright D+
Why wouldn't they let Marc Anthony rap? Are they all racists???? You think only BLACK people can rap???????? Well maybe. Anthony tries to give a growling performance, but he only comes off as just some guy who thinks he's a great singer but he isn't really. This song starts out very well with its menacing beat. Unfortunately, this is the sort of song that actually grows hopelessly tiresome by the end. What miserable nonsense!
Name of the Game C
Er, your smile and the touch of your hand?? Oh no; it's not about money. That's what you are. (There you go, my philosophical thought of the day.) This track has an oddly '80s sounding introduction, and the chorus sounds like it should have appeared somewhere in the Flashdance soundtrack. Well whatever. The chorus is fine, and it makes a nice listen the first two times it plays. Why they had to make this six minutes long is groan inducing. This very well could have been an A-level song. Well, I'd be stretching that, but I'll have you know! You guys responsible for this album should have been more thoughtful! The ways they extend this song screams of filler... They try everything except actually changing the rhythm and the central hook including stripping everything down except the rhythm. Is it really that difficult to make an interesting dance song? ... I guess it is!
Living in a Strange World C-
This is just sterile! It's not even interesting in the first thirty seconds this time. It's pretty much boring from beginning to end. The only good news is that this wasn't co-written by the songwriters who must not be named. More good news: It's not obnoxious. That's an extremely valuable attribute, you know! Poor Anthony ... he's trying to grab our attention by singing as loud as he can, but ... ew! You're sounding a bit much like the guy with the bad haircut.
By this time, someone must have realized that Marc Anthony wasn't white. Not fully willing to go LATIN, this still has the feel of a regular, crappy pop song, but there's some vague Latin roots here. None of that forgives the fact that this is just a horribly written song. This is one of the worst programmed drum machines I've ever heard. Madonna would even be able to write something nicer than that. The electric guitars were a nice touch, but that's much too little too late. Besides they ruin everything with those choppy, repeated vocal effects that were popular in the early '90s, because everybody was stupid. These guys weren't necessarily stupid, but woefully out of ideas. They spent six minutes on this --- six minutes that I'll never get back, mind you. Thanks.
The Masters at Work A-
Er???? Well this is a surprise. I guess if you're going to listen to anything from this disc, then make it this song. This instrumental is actually rather good! The drum rhythms consist of nicely textured though entirely streamlined Latin bongo beats. And what's this I hear? Jazzy and mildly dissonant piano chords?? More points would have been awarded if they were to think about adding some atmosphere or something, but I have to count my blessings I suppose.
I listened to this track only once, and that was such a horrible experience that I'm not about to do it again. This consists of the same generic house/techno beat over and OVER, and the instrumental embellishments are some of the worst ever conceived. This is also an instrumental, but this is completely worthless.
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Palabras Del Alma C+
I know what that says in English! Words of Alma! And, Alma says this is an OK salsa song that utilizes a nice, tropical beat and a horn section. The melody is a little corny and by no means is any of this actually memorable. The instrumentation should have been less generic and actually done the genre justice, but I guess that's hard to ask when this is a toss-off! The good news is that I'm actually enjoying this for some reason. It probably has something to do with my inexperience with the genre, but heck. If I'm enjoying something, then I'd might as well acknowledge it!
Si Tu No Fueras B
The instrumentation is done a little better and Anthony's vocal performance is actually rather nice. The melody sure isn't that memorable (and the instrumentation is still generic), but his vocals manage to soar above it all and still make an overall pleasant experience. Next time I take a crap, I'll try to remember it!
Hasta Que Te Conoci C-
This track starts out as a slow and uninteresting ballad, but surely enough it turns into another salsa song. It makes me want to sip pina coladas at the beach, but this thing never does catchy fire. This melody isn't interesting to me, and the instrumentation is strictly generic. I'll give in that it least has a nice style. But what's the use of style without substance?
El Ultimo Beso C+
They're finally slowing down the pace to deliver a more "contemplative" salsa song. ...Yeah, it's about as contemplative as indigestion!! After awhile on that "mood," they awkwardly pick up the pace to deliver yet another mid-tempo salsa song fully equipped with generic Latin back-up singers. It's safe to say that this could be a lot worse, and this is enjoyable in a mild sense, but I'm wishing these songwriters and producers would actually give me a good reason to be listening to this...
Make it With You C-
And now is the time to start cussing! My complaint isn't that this Bread cover sticks out of place in this album like a sore thumb, it's that it SUCKS! OK, I'll fess up that even this could be worse, and I suppose this ends up being the best melody on the album. That's pretty sad.
Necesito Amarte C-
It's time to break out the nachos again! I don't want to sound like a musical racist, but these salsa songs sound exactly like the other ones. The main difference is this one has a remarkably awkward intro.
Juego O Amor? D
Juice or Love? ... Juice. NO, LOVE!!!! ... Wait, I like cranberries. JUICE!! Yikes, this is one boring album, and this is easily the most boring song of them all. This is pretty much the Latin equivalent of Phil Collins. At least that means it isn't salsa, but now it's painfully apparent that all the people who worked on this album are desperate hacks! I've heard worse for a pop song, but ....... geez! I fear that I'm lowering my floodgates for this kind of tripe.
Si He De Morir B-
The ultimate saving grace of the album is that it's only eight tracks and clocks in at 37 minutes. That means I have less of a chance to HATE this album. And anyway, I like this song. For once, a salsa song manages to have an OK melody. It's not quite to the point when I can start giving out A's unfortunately. They still have a ways to go before that starts happening! The instrumentation is far too miserable for that.
Todo A Su Tiempo
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Se Me Sigue Olivdando B
The beginning of this has a sort of lite-jazz quality, and that's absolutely inexcusable! But at least it turns into a light and enjoyable lite-salsa bit. Anthony is singing like he's enjoying it, and the overall feeling of this is it's better conceived and produced than anything from his debut. So, the end result is a slightly spicy experience that it somewhat likable.
Te Conozco Bien A-
FINALLY. A salsa song that's actually worth hearing. The melody is catchy, and Anthony gives it all it was ever worth in his beautiful voice! FINALLY, the instrumentation is spicy and punchy although it's still far too stuck in its "generic" mode. The generic back-up singers weren't the most inspired decision, but I recall hearing much worse in Nancy Sinatra albums! The tasty trumpets make up for their shortcomings anyway. Yay! Now I have a reason to listen to Marc Anthony!!
Hasta Ayer B+
They score again! Not as well, but it's a hit nonetheless. I appreciate that this album already doesn't sound like it consists of the same song without betraying the Latin feel of it. This consists of a repetitive, uneven strum of a Spanish guitar as Anthony gives a mightily pleasant vocal performance! The instrumentation is also done well, I think. Trust me, nothing can go wrong by introducing gypsy violins! I would like to raise the rating, but it does seem to be about one minute too long, and it's not such a riveting arrangement.
Nadie Como Ella C-
He's getting generic in a bad way now. This is another one of his salsa songs that has absolutely no feeling to it. The melody is slight and the instrumentation is OK (though whoever arranged the horns deserves a cookie), but it doesn't do anything to give it any spice beyond any old generic, emotionless salsa song. Hm.
Te Amare D+
This is another completely non-compelling salsa song in the sense that it manages to dull the senses. I suppose it's not that poorly performed by neither Anthony nor the studio musicians, but the melody is as boring as it gets. All the spice they tried to give it was ultimately meaningless!
Llegaste A Mi C
I heard this melody somewhere else, but according to the All Music Guide, it seems that this song was written for this album! Well, the melody is a passable one, but it's still far from what I would call "inspired." The instrumentation works well enough, but this is another instance of them not doing enough to make this stand out above the rest. I suppose this is a little more decent to sit through than the previous track...
Y Sigues Siendo Tu D+
I'm beginning to suspect that the Michael Bolton song on the 1991 album was done specifically to make all the subsequent cheesy ballads seem more tolerable. That almost works; I am glad that this isn't as much of a stink bomb as it could have been. He's probably better off with the Bread covers, if he really must do this sort of thing, however...
Por Amar Se Da Todo B
My original review of this stated that the beginning sounded like ABBA. Obviously, I was smoking crack! I don't hear that at all anymore... I will tell you that this is a return to the tasteful salsa music. The melody is more engaging this time. The instrumentation is still done well and even extends slightly beyond the realm of the generic to deliver some genuine spiciness. Likewise, Anthony's vocal performance is especially easy on the ears! My minor complaint is that it's about a minute too long.
Vieja Meso N/A
When I originally reviewed this album, this track was available for streaming on Rhapsody. Now all I can hear is a 30-second clip of it, and I'm too cheap to shell out the $.89 to purchase it. I want to say that the 30-second clip, indicating that it's a ballad, doesn't sound bad at all. But just hearing 30 seconds of a song can be very deceiving especially since I reported, in the 1991 album, that many of the songs sounded great for 30 seconds. I'll just quote what I originally wrote about it, although it's not very helpful. Furthermore, it probably wouldn't even reflect my current feelings about it. "Yay! The last track! I was about to lose all consciousness. ...hmm... I still am. Although, I suppose this one is merely slightly more interesting. It's a mid-tempoed salsa song ... OH YAWN! I'M SICK OF LISTENING TO THIS STUPID ALBUM! GRRRRR! MARC ANTHONY IS A PRETTY-BOY!"
Contra La Corriente
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Y Hubo Alguien C+
Let it be said now: There is no reason a salsa song has to be more than six minutes long. Four minutes seems pretty long sometimes, but six minutes is just insane. The good news is that, even though this gets rather dull, it's not too horrible. I've heard worse melodies, and also Anthony's vocals are always nice. The instrumentation is OK, but it continues to adhere strictly to the standards. Yawn. Despite all of that, the song manages to be mildly entertaining.
Contra La Corriente B+
This is a combination of adult contemporary and Anthony's usual tropicana stuff. Anthony had been doing this all along, but it wasn't until now that the forces seemed to combine to create something that's generally appealing almost because of that fact. The melody isn't perfect, but it has its moments. The instrumentation is the usual salsa combo with bongo drums galore and trumpets! Then, there's also the pianos.
Si Te Vas A-
This is hilarious. Get a load of the beginning. It starts out just like it's going to be a "heartfelt" ballad along the lines of Celine Dion, and right when you think he started singing it, it suddenly turns into a salsa song. That's like someone telling me they're not going to slap me on the back of the head, but before they finish the sentence, they slap me on the back of the head. Anyway, this is a great bit of unintentional hilarity for you to laugh over! And no, that's not the reason this song gets an A-, although it might have contributed a little bit. I actually enjoy the melody. That combined with the usual "high quality" instrumentation makes this quite an enjoyable experience. There's an especially nice instrumental interlude where the trumpets get a chance to shine. I don't even mind the part where they strip everything down except Anthony's voice and the percussion.
Me Voy a Regalar A-
Now this song is genuinely enjoyable. For ONCE in this godforsaken discography, I can label one of these melodies as "infectious." That combined with the usual fine standard of instrumentation makes this a hell of a time! I'm tempted to raise the rating to an "A" except the running length is past five minutes and the adult contemporary introduction is horrible.
No Me Conoces B
A song like this should have been the highlight of the album. I can't understand the lyrics, but I'm willing to bet this is a love song. The instrumentation consists of well-orchestrated Spanish guitar that's only slightly on the cheesy level. Marc Anthony is turning into a shining start with, what's obvious to me, the greatest vocal performance of the album so far. O, if only melodies didn't matter! The sheer lack of memorable hooks in the melody means that their efforts only went to make a bland song. But at least it's pretty to listen to. (The transition in the middle to the salsa beat is as awkward as hell). I kind of like that violin stuff in the final third, but ... only kinda.
No Sabes Como Duele C
Very unfortunately, we're back to the point where Anthony is singing these utterly dull and meaningless salsa songs. Nothing interesting to hear that we haven't heard a billion times in his discography. The good news is that this that I'm not quite salsa-ed out!
La Luna Sobre Nuestro Amor C+
This is a real mixed bag. On one hand, they ripped off "Pachabel's Cannon" for part of this, but every time that section pops up, it's as awkward as anything. On the other hand, just because they tried that means, automatically, that this is stands out among all the salsa tracks on the album. Otherwise, the melody is OK though the hooks are still rather weak. I wish this song turned out nicer!
Here is another "love ballad," although this Spanish-speaking weirdo could be singing about tying his shoe laces for all I know about it. The melody is quite nice, but it would still need to do more to gain an A-level rating. Luckily, the standard of song production is quite nice --- the string synthesizers are actually sweet sounding and a pleasure to hear. Likewise, their corny Spanish guitar is also well orchestrated. Anthony doesn't top his performance on the similar ballad "No Me Conoces." Everything else about this song tops it, though.
Un Mal Sueno A
Doesn't that mean "A Bad Dream?" (Hey, I know a little bit of Spanish. I wasted a lot of time in high school learning that.) I had a strange dream last night where I was in a crowd of people and we were watching a bunch of my friends getting into bizarre accidents (none of them got hurt, seemingly, but I remember one of them trying to go down a ladder that wasn't there ... the other "accidents" might take me awhile to describe) ... and at the end, it turned out to be an elaborate stage performance, and the script was written by another one of my friends. ANYWAY, as the last track of the album, Marc Anthony absolutely surprises me with a song that's worthy of classic Supertramp. The melody is catchy. The instrumentation takes a more rocking turn with the horns going funky, a Beatles-esque bass-line and a backing beat. The Supertramp connection comes with its bombastic nature and pounding piano. What's more, it has convincing drive and *gasp* it's even memorable! Could it be true? A wonderful Marc Anthony song??? Or am I just dreaming....
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When I Dream at Night C-
I actually used to think this album was OK. My original review of these songs were not universally positive, but they were laden with at least a few words of praise. Honestly, I don't have any explanation for any of my early reviews. Well, I guess it's a good thing that I decided to revisit these. I used to think this ballad was alright, even though it doesn't get more generic than this! Marc Anthony decides to open this album with a regular adult contemporary ballad that doesn't contain enough melodic hooks, and the production is icky. He's aiming directly for pop radio hits, and he is not taking prisoners. My patience included. This song is crap-tastic!
Am I the Only One D
This is the first ever song that Marc Anthony co-penned ever to appear on his discography, and he's off to a baaaaaaad start. ANOTHER ballad? What happened to those old times when his albums were full of SALSA music and only the occasional horrible ballads? I don't even need to tell you that the handful of ballads in Contra La Corriente were actually rather decent! But what is this hokey nonsense? I didn't mind Anthony pandering to the tastes of his simpleton target audience before, but this is just awful. Granted, there actually exists worse ballads than this. Just imagine.
I Need to Know D-
Compositionally, this is as advanced as a three-chord song that I wrote when I was in high school. It has one of those melodies that's so simple and stupid that it's liable to get stuck in my head and do bad things to my brain. The lyrics are so bad that they make me wish that Anthony would sing in Spanish again. If I hear the term "baby girl" again, I'll hit something. Its only saving grace is that I like the rhythms, and certain aspects of Anthony's vocal melodies was done nicely --- on a rudimentary level. This song is pretty god-awful, but at least it's better than "Am I the Only One."
You Sang to Me C-
This song impressed me when I originally wrote this review, and it's easy to see why. It just came after that dismal "I Need to Know!" It seems that Anthony's strategy is to make every song better than the last just to make the songs sound better. Yeah, nice try! The good news is that this actually has a formidable melody. The bad news is that Anthony repeats the melody so dang much (the song extends to nearly six minutes) that this also ends up getting pretty freaking old. I wish I could give this a higher rating, because it seems like it could have. As it turns out, Anthony would rewrite this as "Viviendo" in the follow-up album.
My Baby You E+
This makes Michael Bolton look like a pretty good alternative. THIS SONG IS DISEASED! I'm getting the urge to listen to "When a Man Loves a Woman" right now! I can't say I completely detest Marc Anthony as a singer, because he definitely sounds better than Bolton, but now I'm hearing his voice with those fake dramatics, pandering directly to radio hits. Meh!! What a waste. I wish he wouldn't sing English anymore. Are the Spanish lyrics are as bad as "My baby you / Are the reason I could fly / And cause of you / I don't have to wonder why / Baby you / There's no more just getting by / You're the reason I feel so alive." Sorry about reprinting those...
No One D
This is another horrible ballad except not so incredibly drenched with the pseudo-dramatics until they bring in that groan-inducing gospel choir at the end. This sounded better in Mariah Carey albums, and that's pretty sad! The melody is completely worthless. No melodic hooks whatsoever. This is the sort of song that diminishes your brain.
How Could I D
Another pseudo-dramatic ballad. What's are they trying to do, rob my soul of life? This could have gotten a higher score, but it doesn't for two important reasons: I'm sick to DEATH of these ballads, and the melody repeats too freaking much. Marc Anthony: How could you, indeed?
That's Okay E
How many tracks has it been... EIGHT. It took him eight minutes to get to something that even vaguely resembles salsa... UM, what the heck is this? That rhythm is incredibly awkward, and the development is clumsy (it frequently reverts to a sort of bare piano section). Those horns have never sounded have never sounded this cheap. Did Marc Anthony have any idea what he was doing? This is a perfect example of how cheap this album is.
Don't Let Me Leave C
Either this ballad *gah* is actually tolerable or my brain has become so numb from hearing all of this nonsense that I can take anything. Well at the very least there's an electric guitar solo in it. It's not much of a performance, but at this point I'm willing to take anything that resembles real music.
Remember Me D-
Yeah, I remember when you used to to sing decent salsa music. I miss you. The pod people must have got to him.
She's Been Good to Me F
This is probably the closest thing this album gets to a real "Latin crossover" song, and it ends up proving that was an idea from Hell at its very core. It's not much of a stretch to call this ugly monstrosity even worse than any of Ricky Martin's famous songs. Marc Anthony is forever tarnished in my eyes. This song is based on a hook that's so under-saturated with hooks that it steals my will to live out of me. My suicide note is going to read: "I'm too depressed to even write anything. Sorry."
Love is All C-
Marc Anthony has no mercy. It's another awful ballad. If this appeared on his previous albums, then it might have been more tolerable. But if I think I'm listening to any of his previous albums right now, then I'm living in a diversionary fantasy world, and I need to get off the drugs. This whole album is crap. Sadly, this is one of the album's greatest song.
Dimelo (I Need to Know) D-
The original song was bad enough, but now they have to further agitate my brain wounds by giving us another version of it. Oh, the humanity!
Como Ella Me Quiere a Mi (She's Been Good to Me) F
Alright. This guy is evil.
Da La Vuelte C
As an afterthought, Marc Anthony decided to put some salsa in this album, at long last. I considered this a bonus track originally, and maybe it actually is. It definitely doesn't fit in with the rest of the album, and that can only be considered a good thing. The question is if you can wipe up the vomit collected from the previous songs in time to fully appreciate a song that's good enough to be called "mediocre."
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Would you salsa on a hot, lonely evening with a coat stand if it had a good rack? I would if I was dancing with this nice sssalsa song! I will give due credit to its introduction. Based on that trumpet loop, you're not sure what this is going to be. As a matter of fact, this is much more entertaining and less awkward than those adult-contemporary intros from Contra La Corriente. The salsa song that it surely metamorphoses into is quite nice and rather entertaining. The melody is quite nice! The instrumentation continues to be the same old sort of thing, but there are moments in here when there are these curious synthesizer build-ups, which are pointless but I kind of like them. Well, at least they're thinking about it for once. The horns are nice, and they help keep the song punchy.
Este Loco Que Te Mira B+
The fine melody combined with Anthony's especially spirited vocal performance ends up being quite a nice experience. That's interesting, because this isn't fundamentally different from many of his previous salsa songs ... the instrumentation and even the melody sound exactly like the others. But somehow this is a more enjoyable experience than usual.
This is a rewrite of "You Sang to Me" from that album, which must not be named. Apparently, it really needed a rewrite. I mean, obviously, because this is an immensely enjoyable song! The melody uses the same nice hook from that song, but it doesn't feel the need to repeat it forever and ever and ever. And, geez, it's even a rather complex melody. The horns are as festive as ever, and they do much to change around the texture of the song and keep it sounding fresh. This is a really well done song. Why did Anthony ever need to abandon these Latin "roots?" (Maybe we should call them Latin "routes.")
Hasta Que Vuelvas Conmigo C
This is the sort of mediocre Marc Anthony salsa song that I've been missing all along! Thank goodness for his mediocrity! Yes, indeed. Er... Well, this is just another song that I have to cross my arms and sit through politely. Why not try to make your songs infectious, while you're at it, or experiment with the arrangements? ... Well, count your blessings, right?
Barco a La Deriva B
A synthesized pan flute begins this song making me think that it'll turn into something starkly unique for a Marc Anthony album, but then it completely proves me wrong and embarks on another usual salsa tune. Generally speaking, however, this one is a tad more interesting to the ears. The melody must be catchier, that's it. Apart from the addition of the pan flute, this isn't fundamentally different from his other salsa songs even on a vague level. At least he's being fun.
De Que Depende B+
What is it with these introductions? This one starts out with a cool bongo beat and a bandoneon and the strict aura of a romantic, Latin song. But then, surely enough, that salsa beat picks up. Every once in awhile, the song attempts to relapse back into this bandoneon bit. I have a question for you, Marc Anthony: If you wanted to write a non-salsa Latin song, then what's stopping you? I mean, what's wrong with the tango? ... At any rate, these embellishments were more than what's needed to make the song enjoyable and even distinctive over the rest.
Yo Te Quiero C-
This one starts out like it's going to be a regular ballad, but surely enough the same old salsa rhythm pipes up. Like a spoiled kid who's tired of his mother making meat loaf all the time, I say: "Awwwwwww! Salsa again?!" This one isn't particularly melodic or distinctive enough for me to actually enjoy this. Sure it's definitely tolerable but my senses are slowly getting dulled...
Amor Aventurero C
This guy must really like "Pachabel's Canon." This is the second time I heard it pop up in a Marc Anthony song albeit subtly this time. Originally, I liked this song quite a bit, but I don't see anything that special in it this time. I do like that he's bringing in classical strings, but that doesn't have appeal beyond the uninteresting melody and the "oh no not another salsa beat" sentiments.
The first half of this is a Latin-tinged ballad and has nothing to do with salsa. But for the love of everything that's good, why couldn't he come up with anything interesting for it. Like an afterthought, he converts it into a salsa song for the second half, but that sounds a lot more awkward than all the other tracks. Let us hope that this awful track does not foretell Anthony's next album. Oh crap, that one's in Eengleesh, isn't it?
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Love Won't Get Any Better B
Well, at least this is a good pop song, and I do wish that Marc Anthony would have been able to keep up with it. (I already know that he doesn't 'cos I already listened to the rest of this.) This is actually a genuine combination between salsa and adult contemporary music, which seems to along the lines that Anthony should have been doing in his eponymous album. Furthermore it's a regular, mid tempo pop song, which is much nicer than his cheesy ballads. The Latin Spanish guitars are strumming away, and (most importantly) the melody is relatively interesting to th' ears. The cheap, cheap drum machine doesn't actually sound that bad to me; the song has nice flow; and, *gasp* clocking in at just over three and a half minutes, it's the perfect length.
She Mends Me C+
Bad news; he's starting to embrace the more annoying aspects of '00s pop standards. I remember his 1997 album had tendencies to start sounding like it would be a Celine Dion-esque ballad, but it hilariously would suddenly turn into a salsa song! I've heard some real crap, but lucky us, this doesn't get to such a horrible level that I'm actually spending much time hating it. That's important.
I've Got You C-
Just like Marc Anthony, the third song turns out to be an upbeat Backstreet-Boys-esque pop song. I needn't remind that "I Need to Know You" exhibits such trite songwriting that it's almost legendary! This isn't exactly a genius composition, but (relatively speaking) it's the sort of song that I can bear through without blowing one of my gaskets. At least this has a twangy spaghetti western guitar!
I Need You D
Grr!!! This is just a poorly written and produced mid-tempo pop song that could appear on any idiotic radio station that plays these pieces of mediocre tripe. The melody is worthless. How useless.
Now, the Latin poop has really hit the fan. Get a load of this groove! I've heard much worse than this, but it's the sort of bland groove that has a bad tendency to start getting obnoxious. The song barely escapes "obnoxious" by a nose. Anthony should learn the value of harmonies!! Geez, use chord changes to your advantage. It's not a difficult concept. As the lyrics state: "This doesn't have to be a tragedy."
I Reach for You D
What the--- What's with that fake fret noise? Alright, that just a minor irritant, and I won't dwell on it. This is a ballad that's without an interesting melody whatsoever. As I already hinted, the production is idiotic. Marc Anthony should start working with people who have the remotest clue about what they're doing.
I Swear C-
There's a sort of instrumental layering thing they do here that I like. The piano, string sounds and their marginally interesting groove has an effect that's quite nice. I have to assume that was accidental, because I can't say this song has a convincing atmospheric effect. The melody is hopelessly bland and trite, as usual. Geez, dude!
Don't Tell Me It's Love F
This is the kind of groove I was talking about that is utterly obnoxious and a prime example of bad music. There they have a fake acoustic guitar that's playing an extremely badly timed groove. Making matters worse, the vocal melody itself is awful. This song is vastly unlistenable.
Do You Believe in Loneliness D+
Oh no, here is a sappy adult contemporary ballad that could have been one of the pieces of depravity on Marc Anthony. It's smarmy and ugly, but at least the melody has a few nice-enough hooks in it. I do wish this guy had taste.
Give Me a Reason E
Give me a reason to listen to this album, please! This starts out with a very curious salsa loop using abysmally chosen violin synthesizers. Again, Anthony picks a groove that's utterly obnoxious. OBNOXIOUS. Geez louise. This song is only three minutes, but it's so tedious that it seems like five.
I Wanna Be Free D+
This song is pretty trite, but at least it isn't offensive. I wish that Marc Anthony would figure out how to write a melody. This is just another bland mid-tempo song. It's useless to try describing it, because that's worse than listening to it.
Everything You Do D
Marc Anthony! Everything you do sucks! Why do you insist on writing these nasty adult contemporary songs with bland melodies and cliche-ridden instrumentation? I know for a fact that you once looked like a nice guy on your album cover, so I know that you are an actual HUMAN BEING. Now, stop acting like such a hack.
Te Tengo Aqui C-
This is the exact same thing as "I Need You" except it's in Espanisho. At least I can't understand the stupid lyrics this time.
Amar Sin Mentiras
Read the full review:
Ahora Quien A-
Let me express this in terms that you might understand. WHAT HAPPENED??? And for once, I can say that in a good context. I mean, this is one of his smarmy adult contemporary ballads, but it's actually good. It actually has a likable melody, a soaring vocal performance and, as icing on the cake, *great* song production. He uses beautiful strings, "contemplative" pianos with a lot of reverb, well-programmed drum beats. Holy crap. This is actually a good song.
Lucky us the album doesn't take a significant turn for the worse when Marc Anthony decided to sing a romantic duet with his latest bride, Jennifer Lopez. I take issue with the melody, which doesn't contain any significance of pop hooks, but at the very least I don't find this experience offensive. The production was tastefully done, and the vocal performances do sound nice. The vocals sound much more rehearsed than anything he did on Marc Anthony. Well it's still crap, but it's a labor of love. How sweet!
Se Esfuma tu Amor B-
I must continue to express how much better, tasteful and more refined the production sounds. This has the biggest imaginable effect of the enjoyment of these songs. You hear some smartly produced, "beeping synthesizers," dreary guitars, gorgeous synth-strings in the background, excellent drums, and even an electric guitar. The mixing was done just about perfectly. The melody is very bland, which is why I cannot possibly score this above a B-, but it sure is pretty to listen to. I'm looking at the producer credits. I never heard of Julio Reyes, but Anthony should continue to work with him.
Valio La Pena C-
This sounds like a genuine cross between salsa and adult contemporary, which seems to be what "crossover" ought to imply. OK, nobody cares about that. This is one of those perfect inoffensive songs that makes me neither wince nor enjoy myself. I'm just sort of crossing my arms waiting for it to be over with.
Tu Amor Me Hace Bien A
I originally wanted to give this song an A+, but I took a listen to it again and decided that I would have been overrating it by a rather substantial degree. This chorus is lovely! The verses aren't quite as melodic, but at least they're about as pleasant as a folky Joni Mitchell song. Well, at least it's extremely comforting to be able to compare him to someone other than The Backstreet Boys. It's my opinion that this is the quintessential Marc Anthony song. It's a lovely song that completely embraces his Latin "roots" while still pandering to popular production trends.
Tan Solo Palabras C-
Back to his old Backstreet Boys pandering ways. It's another good song to sit though waiting patiently for it to do something interesting, but it never happens. Fortunately, it doesn't do anything to offend me. So that's good. I'm content but bored.
Volando Entre Tus Brazos D+
This is one of those "sweeping ballads," but the problem with it is not just the fact that the melody is as bland as can be, it's that the song is BORING. I can't even cross my arms and tolerate this one. It sucks me in with all its super powers to bore me. Yawn. That's a shame, because the instrumentation was done nicely enough.
Nada Personal C+
The ultra-contemporary instrumentation for the introduction was done rather nicely and does a good job drawing me into this thing. What ensues is a somewhat catchy mid-tempo track almost done with a shoe-gazer mentality. Sure, he was probably probing for a hit, and he wasn't too successful, but at least this one's somewhat likable.
Amar Sin Mentiras D
I appreciate that they are trying their hardest to make this power ballad not quite like it was in Marc Anthony by introducing rock'n'roll instruments and an Arethra Franklin like singer spouting off in the background, but ... geez, this is a barely listenable mess. The melody is nothing; it's basically just the same few notes repeated over and over again that Anthony tries to make frilly with his voice. Ew. So much for the title track.
This melody has a nice hook even though it gets repeated an awful lot. The instrumentation is generally tasteful this time (featuring the usual pop-rock combo with some nicely done strings in the background), and it's a little easier to get caught up in Marc Anthony's 'soaring' vocal performance. Anthony's overdubs are actually rather enjoyable. Well... how nice!
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