Picks and Pans Review: Better Part of Me
Jon Secada (Epic)
Jon Secada was doing the Latin pop thing long before it took over the charts. And this album opens up in that tradition with "Stop," a frothy bit of Ricky Martinesque fun, buoyed by propulsive bass lines, percussive horn flourishes and Secada's warm-as-the-Gulf Stream vocals. After that jolt of café cubano, however, the fare is mostly decaf. Things don't pick up again until "Papi," another upbeat, Latin-flavored tune that Secada sings in both English and Spanish, a welcome idea he repeats with "Stop," which he performs in a Spanish translation, then again as a hidden track, with the Spanish lyrics sung to a straight merengue arrangement. The latter track underscores the fact that the Better Part of Secada is his Latino side. When he forsakes it to croon mid-tempo R&B ballads, as he does on the bulk of the tunes here, the result is lackluster.
Bottom Line: Some bright moments, but all too few
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