Picks and Pans Review: Secada
With romantic male pop singers in short supply, it's easy to understand Secada's appeal. But the last release from the former backup singer and songwriter for Gloria Estefan, 1994's Heart, Soul & a Voice, betrayed a certain sameness of tone, and Secada's endlessly grand emotional gestures started to feel, well, endless. For this much-anticipated third English-language album, he has shrewdly enlisted the aid of Minneapolis soul mavens Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and the four tracks they produced and cowrote bring some edgy textures to Secada's cascading vocals—most noticeably on the Foreigner-ish "Too Late, Too Soon" and "Heaven Is You"—which is reminiscent of another Jam-Lewis tune, the Human League's '80s hit "Human."
The rest, coproduced by Secada, his longtime collaborator Miguel Morejon and his mentor Emilio Estefan Jr., isn't quite on a par, but with sweeping ballads like "Get Me Over You" and "Ready for Love," Secada should retain his position as one of pop's premier "love men"—especially with a Spanish version of the album hitting stores as well. After all, it is the loving tongue. (SBK)