MUSIC REVIEW: Euphoria, Deluxe Edition

Enrique Iglesias' worthy effort

 

Euphoria: Deluxe Edition

Enrique Iglesias. Universal Republic. July 6, 2010. Latin Pop. $26.99

 

By Sean Willey

 

Enrique Iglesias described Euphoria as, “…more eclectic than anything I’ve ever done... I think every song is a completely different world.” The debate is on as to whether Euphoria is this summer’s anthem album. It’s mixed with upbeat tempos, well-crafted collaborations and a little Spanish. From the party jams “I Like It” and “Dirty Dancer” to the romantic ballads of “Why Not Me?” and “Heartbreaker,” this is Iglesias’ best work. The album is a carrier into exhilarated dimensions, and nothing less than the high-impact album of the summer.

 

Euphoria by Enrique Iglesias is a mixture of his Latin and American Pop influences. His collaborations with Pitbull, and Usher will dominate clubs for months. His Spanish collaboration with Juan Luis Guerra ensures this album’s success on the Latin charts. All mixed in between Iglesias’ heartfelt solo performances.

 

After six years of Spanish love-chant-filled albums, Iglesias turned to the American market. In 2001, Escape followed already established artists in the States: Ricky Martin and The Backstreet Boys.

 

In the years following, Iglesias’ songs followed this same path. Each one provided at least two or three chart toppers. In Escape it was “Escape,” “Don’t Turn Off The Lights” and “Hero.” In 7 it was “Not In Love” and “The Way You Touch Me.” In Insomniac it was “Do You Know?” and “Somebody’s Me.”

 

The fact that Iglesias kept the same flavor that rode him to success, and included other artists from different backgrounds in creating innovative anthems in Euphoria, is a complement to his music making abilities and his ability to integrate further into American music.

 

Euphoria is the push other up-and-coming Latin artists need. In order to make it on the charts, you must adopt some of America’s musical storytelling methods. Euphoria’s single, “I Like It” created such buzz that it became the title track for The Jersey Shore Soundtrack.

 

The CD is a wonderfully blended mesh of international flavor. It’s half-Spanish half-English, but within those 14 songs have regional influences. Just to name a few, the Reggae-inspired “One Day At A Time” with Akon and “Cuando Me Enamoro” with Dominican Republic Merengue legend Juan Luis Guerra. Iglesias was right. Fourteen different worlds exist in Euphoria, worlds of culture, anthems and emotion.

 

This is Iglesias’ most Americanized album, but he doesn’t deny his listeners that Spanish twang that made his voice one of the most recognizable. “Why Not Me?” is filled with this nasal sound.

 

Iglesias is an icon in Spanish speaking countries, so it’s hard to judge his Spanish songs, like “No Me Digas Que No” and “Tu Y Yo,” where his voice gave him royal-like status.

 

Michael Jackson’s influence on Iglesias’ singing is apparent in “Dirty Dancer” when Iglesias uses the throat pop often utilized by Jackson. Of course, Iglesias’ use isn’t as extreme as Jackson’s. Iglesias’ attempt at higher notes in Euphoria is another interesting development. In “I Like It” and “Dirty Dancer,” Iglesias is able to scream the high notes without missing the pitch.

 

Iglesias left his 1990’s influence, The Backstreet Boys, and integrated himself into the world of Hip-Hop and Pop Rock. Usher, Wisin & Yandel, Nicole Scherzinger, Akon, and Pitbull all joined Iglesias in Euphoria. This didn’t start in Euphoria though. At the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl game, Iglesias performed “Takin’ Back My Love” with R&B queen Ciara

 

The moment we hear the bass-pounding beats of “I Like It” and the lyrics, “Baby I like it/The way you move on the floor/Baby I like it/Come on and give me some more,” we enter into the world of exhilaration.The pleasure continues in “Dirty Dancer” when Iglesias and Usher combine their beautifully matched voices in singing, “She’s a dirty, dirty dancer, dirty, dirty dancer/You’ll never be her only.”

 

Even Iglesias’ tragic love ballad “Why Not Me?” has the magic touch. Its poetry can bring anyone to their knees, remembering the time of a confusing breakup.

 

“Why oh why tell me why not me/Why oh why we were meant to be/Baby I know I could be all you need/Why oh why oh why.”

 

Enrique isn’t all about pain. He can easily throw in some anger too. In “Heartbreaker,” he places the blame, and then asks why she is the way she is.

 

“You’re a heartbreaker, breaker/Tell me now, why the hell you gotta be a heartbreaker, breaker/Leave me now/Why the hell you gotta be a heartbreaker.”

 

Euphoria is the culmination of Iglesias’ career. Will he have more success in the future? Definitely, but Euphoria will be hard to top. Every song has the extraordinary potential of transporting the listener into his or her own dimension. This is a truly remarkable feat for any artist. From the anthems, to the romantic ballads, to the Spanish songs and everything in between, Euphoria is, without a doubt, the party album of the summer.

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