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Gran City Pop

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Album Review

Paulina Rubio's giddy, silly personality bubbles forth all over this album; she sounds like she's having a blast on every song, even the ones that are about the pitfalls of love. She's a pure pop artist, throwing anything and everything at the wall with no goal beyond a hooky melody, and Gran City Pop has plenty of them. Arrangements run the gamut from the acoustic guitar and organ of "Amanecí Sin Ti" to the big sampled Gary Glitter beat of first single "Causa y Efecto," the New Order-style pulsing bassline of "Enséñame," and the Lady GaGa-esque electro-disco of "Algo de Ti," with sampled strings rubbing against hard synth lines. Perhaps the most surprising track on the disc, though, and one of its definite high points, is the hip-hop/ranchero fusion "Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes," which sounds like it could have been produced by Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound. Over a thunderous boom-bap beat, Rubio half-raps, half-sings about how flowers and toys won't earn her love; it's exactly the kind of culture-blending, boundary-dissolving sound that encapsulates modern Latin pop, and it's brilliant. Almost miraculously, this album's style-hopping, from electro to pop/rock (sometimes sounding like Electronic, as on "A Contraluz") to indefinable blends of whatever works, never becomes tiresome. That's a tribute not only to Rubio's producers, but to her own force of personality. She's one of the most vibrant performers in Latin pop, and based on this album, she's not going anywhere anytime soon.


Born: 17 June 1971 in Mexico City, Mexico

Genre: Pop in Spanish

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

Unlike many kids who grow up dreaming of stardom, singer Paulina Rubio didn't have to wait for adulthood to get her first taste of fame. By the time she was ten, Rubio, the daughter of Mexican film star Susana Dosamantes, was part of the children's group Timbiriche. A decade later her solo debut, La Chica Dorada (1992), was released by EMI, generating the breakthrough hit "Mío." Three more EMI albums followed -- 24 Kilates (1993), Tiempo Es Oro (1995), and Planeta Paulina (1996) -- none nearly as...
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Gran City Pop, Paulina Rubio
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