The Latin love god returns after some sleepless nights with a more contemporary sound.
Jerome Blakeney 2007
Poor old Enrique. He’s been losing sleep over this album. Insomniac is reputedly the result of six hard months studio graft, with at least 20 other tracks failing to measure up to the Latino love god’s exacting standards. Or maybe it just takes that long to make an album where nearly every track has a different producer. Either way this is an album that comes exquisitely polished but perhaps stretching itself too far.
Iglesias’ USP (apart from springing from the loins of an even more legendary Spanish singing sex symbol) is, of course, his voice. Discarding the flashier trappings of his ilk, he’s become known for the jeans, t-shirt and beanie look that allowed his fans to concentrate more fully on the unique ‘on-the-edge-of-tears’ tremble that adds such emotional depth to his craft. On more traditional fare like “Little Girl” and “Somebody’s Me” only a fossil could remain unmoved. Likewise on his other safe ground, the world pop of tracks like “Miss You”, he rarely falters, even if you get the feeling that it would always sound better in his native language. “Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)” sounds far better in its Spanish version as “Dimelo”.
But the plethora of ‘name’ producers show us that Enrique is longing to muscle in on the ever-burgeoning R & B market that’s supporting the likes of Timberlake. On “Push”, (featuring the obligatory dirty rap from Lil’ Wayne) he becomes unstuck. It’s ‘adult’ in a way that doesn’t play to his strengths. The bump ‘n’ grind seems mechanical and oddly unmoving. Likewise “On Top Of You” which, again, fails to coinvince in its sleaziness.
To be honest he’s no need to make this move towards clubland. He remains the king of latin-tinged heart-tugging and at least half of this album keeps him firmly on top. Just not in an R Kelly kinda way…