One of Malú's most powerful albums to date, Vive is loaded with full-throttle rock songs that pair the singer with electric guitars and hard-hitting drums. Seven studio albums into her recording career, Malú is no longer the 16-year-old wunderkind that got her start in association with mentor Alejandro Sanz on Aprendiz (1998). A decade later, she's grown into a rocker, pairing her vocals with similarly powerful music. Kicking off with the bracing lead single "A Esto Le Llamas Amor," Vive is an intense album. Not until the slow-burning power ballad "Nadie" comes at the halfway point of the album does the intensity level drop down a couple notches and allow listeners a moment to catch their breath. The second half of Vive is lighter than the first. After "Nadie" comes "Cómo Te Olvido," a duet with Puerto Rican vocalist Jerry Rivera. This duet is the closest that Vive comes to outright Latin music, opposed to international pop/rock, but even this song boasts some mean electric guitar courtesy of Carlos Santana. A couple songs later is a trio of slow songs -- "Dicen por Ahí," "Qué Esperabas," and "Inútilmente" -- that close the album on a gentle note. However, with the exceptions of the aforementioned standouts "Nadie" and "Cómo Te Olvido," all the highlights of Vive are rockers, not only "A Esto Le Llamas Amor" but also "Que Más Te Da," "Días de Sol," and "El Fallo de Tu Piel." In addition to Malú's vocals, which are still among the best in the business, Vive is notable for the production work of Mauri Stern. The veteran producer and Malú have worked together in the past and complement one another well. If the recent greatest-hits compilation Gracias (2008) wasn't sufficient evidence, Vive once again proves that Malú is one of Spain's top pop/rock talents.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Jerry Rivera