Dulce Tentación

by: Fey

Over the course of an up-and-down career that goes back nearly 15 years, Fey was at the top of her game most of the time, and that's once again the case with Dulce Tentación, an impressive comeback effort for the Latin pop star. Beginning with her eponymous album debut in 1995, Fey was a chart-topping superstar in Mexico, and with her second album, Tierna la Noche (1996), she took her success to another level, crossing over from Mexico to the rest of the Spanish-language world. She then took a sabbatical after experimenting with different styles on her third album, El Color de los Sueños (1998), but returned to chart-topping success four years later with Vértigo (2002), her final album on Sony Discos. Her subsequent association with EMI began promisingly enough with La Fuerza del Destino (2004), another in a series of chart-topping albums, yet her next full-length release, Faltan Lunas (2006), was such a big flop that her partnership with the label was terminated. Dulce Tentación, Fey's seventh album to date, marks the beginning of a new chapter in her career following the disappointment of Faltan Lunas. Not only did she release the album independently via Elephant Music, making it her first non-major-label effort to date, but she changed her style in a bid to modernize herself. The new style that she has adopted is reminiscent of world-conquering electro-pop divas Lady Gaga and Rihanna, not only in terms of Fey's newfound glam rock fashion sense (e.g., the front cover art) but also her new attitude, which is powerful and muscular yet sensual and desirous here (e.g., "Adicto a Mi Cuerpo"). Another useful point of comparison is Mónica Naranjo, the Spanish dance-pop diva whose comeback album, Tarántula (2008), is in several ways reminiscent in style to Dulce Tentación. This new style is brought to fruition with the assistance of veteran producer Samuel "Fish" Fisher, whose cutting-edge beats here are clubby and hard-hitting, and who processes and multi-layers Fey's vocals until they sound robotic at times ("Sirena de Cristal," "La Fragilidad"), which of course is in keeping with the concurrent Auto-Tune craze. Thankfully, Fey finds melody in the music and comes up with a handful of fantastic pop songs, above all "Provócame" and "Lentamente." She and her brother Francisco Gil are credited with co-writing all of the album's songs, along with Fisher, Tiziano Borghi, and Cynthia Camacho, and while some are underwritten or lack compelling hooks, the electro-pop productions are generally on-point and go a long way toward making Dulce Tentación a compelling listen from beginning to end. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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