Carpe Diem

by: Belinda

Carpe Diem, the third album to date and first full-length release in four years by Mexican telenovela star Belinda, is her most complete effort thus far. It finds her changing style from tween-oriented pop/rock to dance-oriented electro-pop, and taking fuller command of her recording career. Credited as executive producer of Carpe Diem, she's also credited with either writing or co-writing all of the album's 11 songs. Though Carpe Diem finds Belinda in fuller command than on her previous two albums, Belinda (2003) and Utopía (2006), it's still a highly collaborative effort. Her brother, Nacho Peregrín, is credited with co-writing most of the songs, and four different producers are credited with crafting the album's synth-heavy electro-pop style: Carlos Jean, Arno Elías, Jimmy Harry, and Áureo Baqueiro, all of them accomplished Latin pop hitmakers. Belinda fans who have followed her progression from one album to the next will surely take note of her maturity not only as a record-maker and songwriter but also a young woman with an edgier style. Lead single "Egoísta" is perhaps the edgiest song on the album. It teams her up with risqué Cuban-American rapper Pitbull for a full-on club banger that radiates sass and celebrates selfishness. It's one of several songs on Carpe Diem that employs light touches of Auto-Tune. The first half of Carpe Diem is filled with dance-oriented electro-pop along the same lines as "Egoísta," and most of these songs are appealing, especially "Amor Transgénico" and "Dopamina." One of the boldest of these songs is "Lolita," an electro-rocker that flirts with a sexiness not often heard from the Walt Disney-affiliated actress. Following "Lolita," the second half of Carpe Diem is lighter in style and deeper from a lyrical standpoint. These songs aren't as exciting, but in some ways, they're more interesting. While the 20-year-old Belinda is still evolving as a songwriter, she's unafraid to delve into matters such as faith ("Mi Religión") and environmentalism ("Gaia"); moreover, the heartfelt "Cuida de Mí" was written for her late grandfather, who passed away in 2008. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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