29th September, 1990

One major downside of the way I've chosen to conduct this blog is that I spend so little time with these songs before trying to write about them that I can't possibly do them justice. Even if I'd listened to this song twenty times before setting finger to keyboard, I wouldn't be recreating the conditions under which it became a hit. The life of a pop song in its natural environment — heard in many different places under many different emotional conditions over the space of weeks and months, at the center of a whole complex of previously-received information about the artist, the pop hype cycles of the moment, and the songs which surround it on the radio, in the club, and in one's personal music collection — is so radically different from the clinical, concentrated burst under which "criticism" necessarily takes place that the latter exercise may well start to seem pointless.

Especially when I have so little to say about the actual song that I start talking about the mechanics of criticism.

José José has appeared on this travelogue three times already, each time to somewhat lesser effect. That I've ended up considering this his slightest appearance yet has less to do with the virtues of the actual song than with the fact that it's yet another midtempo adult-contemporary ballad with those gleaming, contentless keyboards and an alto sax sprinkling boredom dust over top of it. I know, in a theoretical sense, that the Latin Pop chart wasn't entirely composed of these songs, but since I'm only listening to the number ones it's starting to give me me a highly lopsided view of the period.

His voice is as polished and attractive an instrument as ever; the song is the second in a row about the romance of oblivion (though José Feliciano can't forget, and José José can't remember); and if this post feels a bit like marking time until we get to the next song whatever it is, that's because it is.

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