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Calle Ilusión

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Album Review

After his initial burst on the scene at the turn of the century, success seems to have slowed down Spanish singer/songwriter Alex Ubago. Three years after 2006's Aviones de Cristal (as well as a 2007 greatest-hits package) comes his fourth studio album, Calle Ilusión. Recorded in Buenos Aires under the direction of Argentine Cachorro López — by now probably considered the king of Latin pop — Calle Ilusión is as competent and polished an album of confessional pop as you would expect from the artists involved. For the same reason, it is equally sure to please fans of the soft-spoken Ubago, as it delivers a new dozen songs that, predictably, deal mostly with love and relationships. With a few exceptions ("No Estés Sola," "Como si Fuera el Último"), however, Ubago avoids the pitfalls of many of his peers as he steers away from becoming too preachy or too whiny. He even manages to concoct a convincing reggae-pop song in the title track, the album's highlight together with the single "Amarrado a Tí" and the ballad "20 Horas de Nada." Calle Ilusión offers a few surprises as it winds up, including a cover of Andrés Calamaro's "Mil Horas" and a Spanish/English duet with Craig David on "Walking Away." Both are affable enough, as the entire album is, but one cannot help but realize that, if these two artists are what Ubago is aiming for as a songwriter and singer, he still has some way to go. Six months after the original release, a second edition of Calle Ilusión added three bonus tracks: two more covers (Mecano and Juan Gabriel) and a duet with the Corrs' Sharon Corr on a new version of "Amarrado a Tí."

Biography

Born: 29 January 1981 in Vitoria, Spain

Genre: Pop in Spanish

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Spanish Latin pop star Alex Ubago was born in Vitoria on January 29, 1981. His family moved to San Sebastian when Alex, an only child, was four. Just for the fun of creating, Ubago wrote his first song at the age of 15. He taught himself to sing, solely to hear how his songs sounded. Without career designs, after writing several songs Ubago contacted his cousin David, who was a musician with a home studio. Together, the two recorded some of Ubago's compositions, hoping to present them to Ubago's...
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Calle Ilusión, Alex Ubago
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