8th August, 1992

After the first few seconds of this song washed over me, I started writing this entry in my head. "Of course, just because Jon Secada felt like a level-up doesn't mean that the lands and seas have changed. Pop never develops in a straight line, and it's neither retrograde nor particularly surprising that the next song after the most modern-sounding one we've had to date sounds like it could have been recorded in 1985."

And if you've listened further than the first couple of verses, you should be laughing at that, because it's not the straightforward lovesick ballad it starts out being. Which doesn't mean it's ever entirely surprising — except during the middle eight, where we suddenly break into a funky tropical rhythm and some bluesy guitar licks — but once Gabriel gets revved up the song is a march, not a ballad, too uptempo even to be a power ballad. In the general shape of its chord structure, it recalls the AM pop of the 70s, and Gabriel's distinctive voice over that inevitably draws comparison to what Janis Joplin might have recorded in 1977 or 78, had she lived and gone on to work with Lindsey Buckingham or Richard Carpenter.

But of course this is 1992, and if the alternative explosion is felt at all at these highest reaches of Latin Pop, it is in the freedom to extend and play with song structure rather more than has been done before. The lyric is still highly traditional — she opens by saying "If I say I don't want to love you any more/It's because I love you" — but Ana Gabriel, no stranger to bucking pop convention, will throw royal fanfares, boogie-woogie piano, rumba timbales, and blues-rock power chords into her souped-up triumphal march of admitting defeat, and given her commercial track record, nobody will tell her differently.

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