Luis Fonsi

Fight the Feeling

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In the late '90s and early 2000s, members of the non-Latin media gave a lot of coverage to what they called "the Latin explosion." By "Latin explosion," the non-Latin media were referring to the support that Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Marc Anthony were getting from English-speaking listeners; in Spain and Latin America, Latin artists had been filling huge soccer stadiums long before Martin's 1999 gem "Livin' la Vida Loca" soared to the top of the American pop charts. What the non-Latin media called a "Latin explosion" was essentially a wave of Latin artists who had reached non-Latin listeners by recording in English. With Fight the Feeling, Puerto Rican vocalist Luis Fonsi does what Martin, Shakira, and Anthony had done: he goes after English-speaking audiences in a big way. This is the bilingual singer's fourth album overall, but it is his first all-English album. Unlike albums by Martin and Shakira, Fight the Feeling does not get into pop/rock. This is primarily an urban contemporary/dance-pop effort, and the occasional Latin touches are extremely subtle. Fight the Feeling finds Fonsi drifting back and forth between light urban/adult contemporary ballads (which include "If Only," "Save Me," and "Tell Her Tonight") and hip-hop-flavored, mildly funky urban/dance items such as "Twisted" (not to be confused with saxman Wardell Gray's jazz standard) and "Turn It Up." On the romantic ballads, he gets into a Boyz II Men/All-4-One type of groove -- the ballads are formulaic and contrived, but they're still meatier than anything Backstreet Boys or *NSync have to offer. Even so, most of Fight the Feeling isn't terribly memorable. Although Fonsi is a likable singer, he is saddled with a lot of material that is merely competent. This CD does have its moments, but Fonsi is capable of much more.

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