23rd November, 1990

Can you tell I'm running out of things to say about professionally produced, floridly sung, and hyperbolically written ballads? Luis Miguel remains "pop royalty," as I put it in the tags, the King of his era and demesne of Pop so utterly and completely that I'm tempted to borrow a phrase from Tom Ewing (or rather from Neil Tennant) and call this his "imperial phase." His voice, immaculate and creamily expressive, is the focus here, and he sweeps us from a tender, quiet beginning to the standard banners-waving, fist-pumping Big Chorus with such ease that we scarcely notice the seam.

The lyrics are hyperbolic not only in the sense that they would be ridiculous as a rational statement, but also in the sense that spoken rather than sung they would be creepy and domineering: that Big Chorus goes "Surrender yourself/I don't feel you yet/Let your body/Get used to my heat/Surrender yourself/My prisoner/Passion does not wait/And I can't love you more than this." Which may be a relief from song after song about untouchable cruel woman who makes the man weep, but as a portrait of a healthy relationship (consensual s&m excluded) it's hardly better.

Of course, pop songs about healthy relationships are even more rare than romantic comedies where people do sane things -- the drama is in the hyperbole, and a diet of bombastic Latin Pop is as likely to make me feel that Anglo pop norms are anodyne and wussy as that Latin Pop is overheated and misogynist.

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