22nd February, 2003

Wiki | Video

A significant landmark in the career of both Iglesias fils and the Hot Latin chart at the time, "Quizás" is probably the best song, and certainly the best performance, he's delivered to us since "Ritmo Total," back in 1999. After two album cycles aimed at the English-language market, with Spanish versions as an afterthought, he's returned to the comfort and perhaps the sincerity of a Spanish-only release. It was also, as his 15th number one, the moment he tied with Luis Miguel as the artist to have the most number ones on the chart. That contest will continue, but it will probably not surprise you to learn who eventually won.

"Quizás" is a new mode of song for Iglesias: a personal, even confessional song. It starts with the words "hola viejo," or "hello, old man" -- it is, in fact, addressed to Iglesias père, whose voice we haven't heard since 1992 and whose imperial era we missed entirely -- and as a song sung by a wealthy, directionless young man to his wealthy, directionless father it's got all the emotional indirectness, protective philosophizing, and hedging acknowledgment of mortality and moral vacuity that aristocratic-poetry fans could wish for. The broader, more sentimental video is a beautifully-shot short film that backs away from engaging with Iglesias' (and Léster Méndez') lyrics in favor of a smushy universality.

Perhaps the best thing about the song having been at least partly written by Iglesias rather than for him is that there's nothing in it that's out of his range: he doesn't have to push into a strangled whine, letting most of the song inhabit the choked back of his throat. The quivering-lip emotionalism of his delivery finally sounds earned, or at least not entirely dishonest. But then again, perhaps I'm just more affected by songs about fathers (I've had one) than about lovers.

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