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MTV Unplugged

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Album Review

At no point does Ricky Martin's MTV Unplugged sound like an intimate acoustic performance. Like most of the acts on MTV Unplugged since Eric Clapton's Unplugged, Martin brings in a full band, complete with electric bass and keyboards, so even if there are no electric guitars, it sounds big, full, and polished, particularly since his band is augmented by strings and horns. It may not be small-scale, the way that Unplugged was in its earliest days, but the concert does have the effect of stripping Martin back to his basics — which means that he does no English-language pop and avoids all the silly dance-pop that became his stock-in-trade after "Livin' la Vida Loca," while also avoiding the desperate nature of his 2005 studio album Life. What's left is the power of Martin as a live performer, and he's in good form here, delivering energetic performances of the up-tempo songs and avoiding schmaltz in the ballads. It's an album for the faithful — instead of stretching, Martin is relying on his strengths — but it will satisfy those who still stand by Ricky Martin after all the ups and downs in his career.


Born: 24 December 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ricky Martin was one of the biggest teen idols in Latin America during the '90s and a major figure in American pop music by the end of the decade. A lead singer of Menudo, Martin was blessed with good looks and a nice voice, which helped him become a Latin music star. He also became an actor, earning praise from the Mexican motion picture industry and starring on the American soap opera General Hospital, where he played Miguel Morez, a bartender who sings on the weekends. Martin (born December...
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MTV Unplugged, Ricky Martin
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