by: Miguel Bosé

Miguel Bosé' s first album of all-new material in five years, Cardio is an electro-rock collaboration with producer/songwriter Nicolás Sorín that results in a few highlights. It's not one of Bosé's better full-length efforts, unfortunately, as he and Sorín have crafted an album far richer in style than substance. While there's no question that the electro-rock style of the album is thoroughly contemporary, it doesn't fit the 30-year-plus Latin pop veteran especially well and the songs generally aren't all that memorable. The sly pop instincts of Bosé are nonetheless in place throughout Cardio, so even if it's not one of his better albums, it's one fans will want to hear, in particular the highlights "Estuve a Punto de...," "Cardio," and "Ayurvédico." After all, fans were eagerly awaiting Cardio, Bosé's first album of all-new material since Velvetina (2005). During the five-year gap between albums, Bosé commemorated the 30th anniversary of his recording career with Papito (2008), on which he teamed up with an impressive guest list of Latin pop superstars to re-record his greatest hits in a contemporary style. Papito was a commercial blockbuster, and Bosé embarked on a triumphant concert tour in support of the album. Cardio inevitably feels anticlimactic in the wake of Papito, which had so much going for it in terms of greatest-hits material, superstar guest features, and so on. A fairer comparison to Cardio is Velvetina, which likewise found Bosé embracing contemporary trends in pop music in an attempt to come across as cutting edge in spite of his advanced age. Like Velvetina, Cardio is a mixed bag that falls short of masterworks like Bajo el Signo de Caín (1993). The few aforementioned highlights are enjoyable enough, and others like "Dame Argumentos" and "La Verdad" are good if not great; moreover, the production work of Bosé and Sorín is often interesting, even if the songs fall flat. Still, after five years one expects more from Bosé, who used to release a new album every year or two, most of them excellent. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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