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The first jalapeno-juiced pop star to truly gatecrash this gringo pop party thing will without doubt clean up like no-one has before. Gloria Estefan stuck around for a while but was just a little bit too mumsy to really get down and shake her ass... breaking her back didn't help matters either. Julio Iglesias looks too much like Terry Wogan and anyway he makes more than enough peso's already just playing to the Spanish market to bother getting his mouth around lyrics Americano.
Which leaves this thing called Ricky to consider. Last year's might 'Livin' La Vida Loca' should have been the one to kick down the doors for him but it all kind of fizzled out. You can't help thinking that as a cartoon-like construct his lack of a genuine personality held him back. Deep down, like Esperanto, he might simply be too ersatz to catch on.
'Sound Loaded' is pretty much his make or break album then when it comes to the big bi-cultural cross-over so how far does it go in cutting the extra-strength mustard? Well if you skip over the glutinously gloopy ballads and stick with the dynamite-trousered like of 'Loaded' and first single 'She Bangs' then you might end up believing that Rrrrricky boy could still end up king of the whole wide world.
Best by far is the sizzle and sauce of 'If You Ever Saw Her' which manages to namecheck both Marilyn and Madonna but is a whole lot more invigorating than that suggests. The rest is by and large cliched drivel which no amount of flamenco arpeggios can redeem, the lyrics so moon-in-june meaningless that in comparison the new Radiohead stuff seems crisp and precise.
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