Picks and Pans Review: Escape

updated 11/05/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/05/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

Enrique Iglesias (Interscope)

Milli Vanilli he's not, but Enrique Iglesias had to stoop to going on Howard Stern's radio show last year to prove he could sing live. Such indignities sometimes happen when your dad is Julio Iglesias and some people think you haven't exactly had to work your bonbon off to get where you are. To be fair, Iglesias, 26, was huge in the Spanish-speaking world well before his 1999 English-language debut earned him a seat on the Latin-pop bandwagon next to Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. But he was never as dynamic a singer as Anthony nor as charismatic as Martin, and, well, J.Lo is J.Lo.

Iglesias's sophomore disc, Escape, doesn't do much to disprove his naysayers. Nothing here is even irritatingly catchy like his breakthrough hit "Bailamos." Such up-tempo Latin-lite numbers as the title tune, "Love to See You Cry" and "I Will Survive" (no relation to the disco chestnut) are as bland as white bread. The whimpering ballad "Hero" only magnifies his trembly vocals. Three tracks are repeated in both English and Spanish, but they don't work in either language.

Bottom Line: Escape from Enrique

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