3rd July, 1993

Four singles off the debut album, four songs at the number one spot. Nobody else has had a hit rate like this in Latin Pop, at least not since the chart began; and nobody with comparable success disappeared as quickly. This isn't quite the end of Secada's reign — as with all earthquakes, there were followup tremors for some time afterwards — but it's the beginning of the end. What began sounding like a revolution turns out to be something of a dead end.

At least immediately. Secada did not lead the charge on Cuban-American r&b singers invading the Latin chart, but there are few recurrent figures on the chart today who don't owe at least something to his example. But we'll get to that when we get to them; in the meantime, "Sentir" is an impassioned ode to self-involvement, Secada emoting all about his emotions ("sentir" means "to feel," and boy does he ever) and how their intensity and urgency are all that matter. The you of the lyric (presumably a woman, though he could just as easily be singing into a mirror) exists only as an object of sentiment, the most important thing in the world because his feelings declare it so.

Of course plenty of love songs could be criticized on such grounds; the real grounds for dismissal is that this song retreads ground he's mined plenty of times already. Fourth singles have to introduce us to a new aspect of the performer, or they're just going to be watered-down retreads of what caught our attention in the first place, and "Sentir" only spent two weeks at the top before the chart, and the audience, moved on. Unless Secada could pull off another "Otro Día Más Sin Verte"/"Just Another Day Without You" hat trick, his days too were numbered.

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