13th January, 2001

Son by Four had ridden the crest of a larger boy-band moment in global pop, but they were far from the first. MDO, now without a single Puerto Rican left (the 2000 lineup was Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, Tejano, and Italian-American), were back with a... well, decidedly not a brand-new invention. A sturdy old invention, lustily sung and expensively produced. written by Venezuelan singer-songwriter Carlos Baute: "Te Quise Olvidar" (I wanted to forget you) is a we-broke-up-but-you-haunt-my-memory song, steroided up to a power ballad, and even the middle-eight tribal harmonies are (though great) too little, too late.

But the lyrics are surprisingly frank for a boy band: the chorus is about how the singer has sought forgetfulness by having sex with another woman, but to no avail. Which fits well with Baute's womanizing persona, but sounds refreshingly adult in the mouths of young men whose uniform white dress, outstretched hands, and cupid's-bow lips are presumably targeted at a rather less adult demographic. (I confess I have never studied the lyrics of the millennial boy bands very closely; maybe I'm wrong and they were all about sophisticated adult sexual triangles.) But that's the most interesting thing about the song.

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