November , 2000
Christina's Latin CD 'Mi Reflejo' Reviews
'Mi Reflejo' has garnered Christina some of her best reviews yet, with the L.A. Times claiming 'Aguilera's powerful voice and technical skill set her apart' while Time Magazine's critic noted 'we listen impressed as she finds new fires within.' The New York Post called 'Mi Reflejo' 'a major contender at next year's Latin Grammys ... no other artist has realized English to Spanish crossover dreams with this kind of grace.'
In 1999, Spanish-speaking Latin pop stars like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Enrique Iglesias showed they could live la vida just as loca in English. Now, teen R&B diva Christina Aguilera flips the script back with her Spanish-language album, 'Mi Reflejo.' This isn't just another Boyz II Men en espanol. Aguilera exquisitely turns out her inner Ecuadorian and transcends her suburban Pittsburgh origins with remarkably authentic Latin feeling.
'Mi Reflejo' features the obligatory remakes of Aguilera hits like 'Come On Over,' 'I Turn To You,' and 'Genie In A Bottle,' but the songs seem to mature in the translation. The Spanish version of 'What A Girl Wants' becomes 'Una Mujer,' with Aguilera insisting, 'A woman wants to feel...happy.' With the help of heavyweight Latin pop producer Rudy Perez, Aguilera delivers the exhilarating flamenco ballad 'El Beso del Final' and commands a rousing salsa stomp, 'Cuando No Es Contigo.' In a brillant move designed to capture the sentimental Latino mainstream, she covers the classic ballad 'Contigo en la Distancia,' which is a little like Whitney Houston channeling a Spanglish Sinatra.
With 'Mi Reflejo,' Aguilera conquers the reverse crossover, making herself an instant star among Latin Americans looking northward for soulful inspiration.
New York Post
Much to the delight of Grandma Aguilera, pretty young Christina acknowledges her Ecuadorian heritage with a spicy dance-floor friendly disc totally in Spanish. Considering Miss Aguilera doesn't speak the language, the recording is an impressive accomplishment. Ballads and even her peppy fan-faves like "Genie In a Bottle," "What A Girl Wants" and "Come On Over" ("Genio Atrapado," "Una Mujer" and "Ven Conmigo" respectively) translate flawlessly.
This album will certainly be a major contender at next year's Latin Grammys since no other artist has realized English to Spanish crossover dreams with the kind of grace Miss A. has demonstrated here. Where this disc will surely make its greatest impact is in Latin markets, where Aguilera's crisp and unique R&B styling are almost non-existent.
You go, girl! Riding on the coattails of the Latin explosion, teen sensation Christina Aguilera decided to tap into her Ecuadorian roots (on her father's side) and brush up on her Spanish.
With her newfound tongue, she translates five tracks of her multiplatinum self-titled debut. 'Genie in a Bottle' becomes 'Genie Atrapado,' 'Come On Over' becomes 'Ven Conmigo,' and her other major hits get code-switched and granted the added value of Spanish guitar and dizzied-up Latin disco beats.
Fans, especially those who understand the language, should rush to pick up this album. In the year since Aguilera released her self-titled debut, she's honed her chops and figured out what kind of artist she wants to be: namely, an R&B heavy-hitter, not a pop princess.
To prove her staying power and worth, she does serious vocal acrobatics with so much confidence and clarity on 'Mi Reflejo,' you'll forget that five of these songs are old, that all are translated into a language other than her native tongue, and that she's a modest 19 years old.
Like many Latin artists who have crossed into the English market, Christina Aguilera's foray into Spanish has yielded a mostly mainstream pop album with Latin inflections. This is to be expected on a disc that includes six adaptations of previous Aguilera hits in English, including 'Genio Atrapado' ('Genie in a Bottle').
What makes Aguilera's effort commendable is not the occasional salsa beat or the use of acoustic guitars now heard in every album by a Latin artist. Instead, Aguilera breaks rank by virtue of her magnificent voice and by refusing to leave behind her R&B inflections, which give a distinct flavor to every song on the disc, including those that have been specifically tailored for the Latin market.
Aguilera also displays a faint accent, a la Eydie Gorme, that doesn't take away from the music. Just how the Latin music buyer outside the U.S. will react to all this may well determine Aguilera's future steps in the Spanish-language world, as well as those of other U.S.-bred artists seeking to go there.
But even the most conservative listener will enjoy 'Si No Te Hubiera Conocido,' a duet with Luis Fonsi, and the most breathtaking cover of 'Contigo En La Distancia' - an old bolero - heard in recent memory.
Sonidos Latinos Latin Sounds
One can never accuse singer Christina Aguilera of playing it safe. After all, she's decided to follow up her eponymous 1999 multiplatinum debut disc with "Mi Reflejo," an all- Spanish-language album on RCA Records. The result is pure pop pleasure.
Five of the album's songs are Spanish re-recordings of previous Aguilera hits.
So "Genie in a Bottle" becomes "Genio Atrapado," "I Turn to You" is now "Por Siempre Tu," "Come On Over" is "Ven Conmigo" and "What a Girl Wants" mutates into "Una Mujer." But Aguilera actually sounds better on each of the redos. Her soulful voice has nicely matured since her maiden album. There's more passion and showmanship in these renditions. Obviously, Aguilera has learned much from her constant touring schedule. She now knows how to sell a song.
"Mi Reflejo" benefits from two factors. First is the producing, arranging and songwriting skills of Rudy Perez. Not only does he provide a subtle musical backdrop to allow the Aguilera voice to shine, but he also has penned a number of ballads, such as "Pero Me Acuerdo De Ti," that fit her romantic persona like a glove.
The second factor is Aguilera's comfortableness in singing in Spanish. The child of an Ecuadorian father and a mother who worked as a Spanish translator, Aguilera vocalizes with total confidence. Whether it's the funky "Falsas Esperanzas" or the gentle "El Beso Del Final," Aguilera's interpretive skills are up to the task. She ably serves the song.
Her vocal and emotional range are considerable. Aguilera perfectly captures all of the torchy elements in the classic bolero "Contigo En La Distancia" while harmonizing beautifully with Luis Fonsi on the Perez-penned duet "Si No Te Hubiera Conocido." She vocally stutter-steps her way through the exciting Sergio George arrangement of "Cuando No Es Contigo" and brings astonishing power to the Disney-ish title cut. From her melismatic moans to her soulful shouts, Aguilera's a true talent. "Mi Reflejo" is just further proof. Check it out.
Los Angeles Times
Aguilera releases Spanish album
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Christina Aguilera's moves on stage don't require translation. But the pop singer wants to make sure her Spanish-language fans understand the lyrics. Aguilera this week released a Spanish-language album, 'Mi Reflejo,' that includes five translated versions of songs from her debut album and six new songs, including a duet with Latin pop star Luis Fonsi. 'This will make my grandparents proud,' she said. Aguilera's father is from Ecuador, and her U.S.-born mother worked as a Spanish translator. Aguilera, born and raised in the United States, says she spoke Spanish at home for the first five years of her life, until her parents divorced. 'It is very important for me to be recognized by the Latin community,' Christina told Katrillion.com. 'These are my people and that's why I want to record songs and albums in Spanish in the first place. It is most important to me that the Latin audience accepts and likes them.'
Christina Aguilera seems too small to contain her voice. The 19-year-old singer's bare waist is so thin you'd think it could fit between two parenthesis - it looks too tiny to support the strong, soulful melismata that flow from her lips. In fact, Aguilera's talent seems to require more space than the teen-pop world can provide.
While Mandy Moore and the like go comfortably about the business of churning out plastic pop-and Britney Spears manufactures successful distractions like her strip tease at the recent MTV Video Music Awards - Aguilera's vocals strain and flutter against the confinement of her songs, a sea gull in a parakeet cage.
On Aguilera's CD 'Mi Reflejo' (RCA) she's finally able to stretch her wings. Aguilera is half Irish American and half Ecuadoran, but she war primarily raised in an English-speaking home. With this new CD she sets off in search of her Spanish heritage, a modern-day answer to the Spanish explorers of centuries past. The conquistadors were seeking a new world; Aguilera is searching for her roots. The CD, produced by Rudy Perez (Luis Miguel), consists of five translations of her pop hits and six original Spanish recordings.
The collection offers Aguilera stylistic challenges. Confronted with the bolero standard 'Contigo en la Distancia,' she lends the song nuanced passion. And on 'Cuando No Es Contigo,' a hard-salsa number co-produced by Sergio George (Marc Anthony), Aguilera confidently charges through tempo changes. It's a Latin implosion, and we listen impressed as she finds new fires within.
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