After three increasingly successful albums of lightly R&B-influenced Spanish-language pop, Puerto Rican crooner-heartthrob Luis Fonsi tried his hand at U.S. stardom by creating a dance/hip-hop persona for FIGHT THE FEELING. His fifth record, ABRAZAR LA VIDA, finds Fonsi not only returning to singing in Spanish, but to his familiar musical background-the ultra-catchy romantic pop that initially launched him into the public eye. Fonsi's pop is more a throwback to the blue-eyed soul-pop of the late-1980s-think George Michael at his most sincere-with lush production and heartfelt, emotive vocals wholly confident in their ability to caress a lover's soul.
Fonsi opens ABRAZAR LA VIDA with the plaintive torch song "Quien Te Dijo Eso?," akin to Babyface's country turn on "When Will I See You Again," followed by the more R&B-flavored, but still torch-laden, title song. However, the dance floor is not ignored, as Latin horn touches snake in infectiously on the frenetic "Yo Te Propongo," an almost dizzying number. On ABRAZAR LA VIDA, Fonsi reveals himself to be most comfortable in the modern crooner dye, and casts a satisfying pop shadow with his fifth album.