Picks and Pans Review: Menudo

updated 06/10/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/10/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT


If you've been expecting los boys to turn into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Talking Heads or a Latinized version of the Jacksons, you're going to be disappointed. The Puerto Rican quintet that doesn't trust anyone over 16 has two new members—Ricky Martin and Raymond Acevedo. (No point in mentioning whom they replaced; this is pop-music socialism where individual personalities are subsumed in the larger purpose.) But the group's basic sound is still the same, that of a sweet, zippy bunch of early teenage boys who are no more profound than they ought to be. This is the second Menudo album in English, which all the boys handle with ease. Julio Iglesias should take lessons from them. It is full of bright, naively romantic tunes. There is only one really dumb one, Trans formation, a kind of cosmetic-industry anthem that includes the lines, "There's only one way to my heart/Makeup is the way." Howie Rice, who has worked with such people as the Pointer Sisters, produced four of the 10 songs, three of which are translations from Spanish of earlier hits for the group. He gives the music a grown-up kind of sheen. Menudomania has remained only a minor craze in this country. Maybe they're too wholesome. Nothing can turn a teenager off as fast as the notion that his parents approve of something. The solution might be having the boys keep the music the same but dress up in leather and chains while making mean faces at a mother figure for their next album photo. (RCA)

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