4th November, 1989

The second temperate ballad in a row to be interrupted by a flash of electric-guitar wizardry; is this a slow-rolling sea change, or merely something which had never before bobbed to the surface? But comparisons with the Luis Miguel song which preceded it are not likely to be very fruitful; after all, once you've noted the difference in the singing styles (Miguel: all-out passion, Chayanne: so sweet as to maybe be called simpering), the similarities in topic (both are anguished farewells to dangerously fickle women that use images of ice and treachery), and a general structural similarity (which either of them would share with ninety percent of ballads produced in the last quarter of the century), what's left to compare?

That's meant for humor. Unfortunately there is a sameness to much of the music we've been discussing over the past several months, a sameness which stands out all the more to ears that have not really been trained to pick out the nuances, and who hasn't followed the breathless press about each new estrella fabulosa. But Chayanne's going to be around a while; let's see what there is to know about him.

He's of the same generation of pop stars as Luis Miguel; when Miguel had his first #1, Chayanne was right behind him at #4. If his own summitting took a little longer, well, he had more irons in more fires. As un estrella de pop puertorriqueño, he also got jobs in the island's telenovela industry. We'll get to his crowning glory in that field -- in fact, one of the absurd crowning glories of all Latin pop culture -- in a few years' time, but for now, note that his dreamy swoon-worthiness is as much televisual as musical. Also, his birth name was Elmer.

I'd engage the song more, but the snark above pretty much nailed it. I'll just translate the title as per usual: "You Were A Piece Of Ice In The Frost." Which sets us up for a much more poetic lyric than the one we actually get, but pop has always been as much about hollow promises as about glory fulfilled; frequently more so.

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