12th December, 1998

It's been six years since Puerto Rican pop star Chayanne has bobbed to the surface on these top-of-the-chart waters; although he's been working steadily in the meantime and been relatively successful at it, this still marks something of a comeback for him. Written by Estéfano, a prolific songwriter and producer from Colombia whose previous success stories had  included Jon Secada's debut album and Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra, "Dejaría Todo" continues Chayanne's success with midtempo ballads. This time, thanks to Marcello Azevedo's nylon-stringed guitar, it has what you might call a stereotypically Latin flavor, a vaguely bolero sway, though not so pronounced that the barreling power-ballad chorus gets tripped up in any kind of polyrhythmic syncopation.

It's a "she's leaving me, my world is ending" song — more or less literally — and if the emotional hyperbole of the lyrics doesn't quite match up with the bland, adult-contemporary longeurs of the production, that's nothing new. Chayanne's voice isn't powerful, but it's pretty and well-suited to the aching romanticisms he's called upon to emote. (Enrique Iglesias, for example, would make an unlistenable fist of what Chayanne relaxes into.) It goes on for too long, as the chorus repeats and repeats, but it remains listenable throughout, Estéfano's production magic keeping each instrumental injection just this side of stultifying. The choral effect on the last several iterations of the chorus is both gilding this particular lily and getting to be a bit tiresome on this travelogue — how many faux-gospel choruses does that make within the past year? — but I'm surprised to discover that I have some affection for Chayanne.

Which is good, because he'll be back.

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