Various Artists

Simplemente Amor [3 CD/DVD]

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Simplemente Amor is a mammoth collection of second-rate Latin pop love songs spanning three CDs and a DVD. No question about it, there's a lot of music here -- 65 tracks in all, 49 of them spread out across the three CDs -- and much of it is good if not great. However, many of the artists are obscure, most of the hits are minor, and all of the material is dated. For example, Paulina Rubio has a lot of hits to her name, most recently the international chart-topper "Causa y Efecto," yet the one compiled on Simplemente Amor, "Tal Vez, Quizás," was the seventh single from her 2000 album Paulina. Another example is the Thalía inclusion "Pienso en Ti," the fourth single taken from her 1990 eponymous album debut. For all the songs on Simplemente Amor, there aren't many big names besides Rubio, Thalía, and a select handful of others. For example, Ednita Nazario, Alejandra Guzmán, and Soraya are some of the better-known adult contemporary singers, while Timbiriche, Luis Fonsi, and Antonio Orozco are most notable among the younger voices. It's sequenced absolutely last, all the way at the end of the third CD, but Belanova's "Tus Ojos" is perhaps the most welcome surprise. Too bad there aren't more cutting-edge pop acts like Belanova found here.

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