16th August, 1997

And then, finally, eight singles in to his all-conquering chart run -- all eight of which have hit the top spot, a Latin Pop record and a pretty unassailable accomplishment no matter what chart you're looking at -- Enrique Iglesias found his sound. Not that  he's singing any differently: the choked whine he employs here is, if anything, even more choked and whinier than on his debut. But the production for once matches him, equal parts bouncy and dramatic, forward motion with an emotional content built into the chord structure. Freed from the necessity of being the most interesting thing about the song, he can to some degree disappear into its rhythmic thrust, and if he still sounds a little ridiculous, it's the forgiving ridiculousness of camp rather than that of trying, and failing, to be tenderly sincere.

The winding-up-and-twisting down electric piano line against a rather limp breakbeat is one of the key sounds of mid-90s kitsch, electronic music gesturing towards classical, or earlier, forms (cf. Enigma, Miranda Sex Garden, that one Sarah Brightman record): if the melody's not actually from a moody Bach fugue, it means to sound like it. (The attack and sustain on the piano even drift toward the sound of a harpsichord.) The textural rock guitar and sonic drift layering out the record gives it a punch that rescues it from limp New Age mood-setting; and then, of course, there's Iglesias singing the actual song.

"Miente" means "lie" (both the noun and -- the sense in which the lyric uses it -- the imperative verb form). He's begging her to lie, to say that she loves him, because he can't live without her. It's appropriately hyperbolic stuff, dramatic to match the dramatic mood of the music, and though he delivers it with his usual conviction, the rhythmic pulse of the song protects him from lugubriousness. It's the best song we've heard from him yet, but it's still not among his best songs; we've got a few years before he begins to regularly turn out material on this level.

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