Grandes Exitos

Jon Secada

EMT, 1999

REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/03/2005

The Republic of Cuba has always been known for strife (severe economic recession) and illicit migration to the United States. But Cuba also has glorious mountains, warm, sunny beaches and talented musicians. The Rough Guide states Cuba is '"the island that gave the world the rumba, the mambo, the chachacha, the danzon and the habanera. Forget sugar, cigars, and rum -- music is Cuba's greatest export. The island is one of the musical powerhouses of the world." And from this island comes Jon Secada.

In 1971, at the age of nine, Secada's family moved from Havana to Miami, Florida. In the 11th grade he sang in A Christmas Carol and proved his musical capabilities. He earned both B.A. and M.A. in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of Miami.

Because he is bilingual (Spanish and English) he often blends the two together on his albums, or records an album in a Spanish version and also in an English version, thus giving him the title of "crossover artist." He writes in English first and then translates to Spanish. This gentleman believes in being well-rounded and has helped produce other Latin artists. He thinks of himself as a pop singer/songwriter, but I simply think he's extremely skillful at his craft, no matter the form it takes. His love of Latin rhythms, percussive beats, and r&b riffs infiltrate his music too.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This time he offers Grandes Exitos. Each song is better than the last. "Angel" is a sensual, gentle tune. It is the story of loving someone enough to let go of yourself, and then eventually letting go of the other person too. This is one of my favorites because of Secada's sexy, souful vocals which are highlighted as well as a beautiful melody. Jon's propensity is for ballads, and he shines when he throws himself into this type of romantic song. "Quiero Mas" translates as "I Want More," and don't we all. It is a faster paced number and the rhythms are fun. My head bobbed through the entire song. I love the beat and the background vocals.

"Alma con Alma" means "soul to soul" and is another slow and soft, passionate and provocative song. Secada serenades you in an intimate manner through voice control and sensorial lyrics. The piece speaks of dreaming sweet dreams of the one you love; holding them tight, kissing their lips and being soul to soul. "Sentir," which translates as "I'm free," demonstrates Secada's powerful vocals; the passion he feels for his music pushes this artist to express himself without limitations. "Otro Dia Mas Sin Verte" proclaims that it's "just another day" with a dynamic beat and robust vocals, and is another of my favorites.

You don't have to be Cuban, or even have to understand Spanish, to enjoy Jon Secada's music. He has a way of seducing you through his music. The Spanish language is extremely romantic and erotic too. Secada's vivaciousness runs through the entire album. His music is alive and vibrant. Add a lusty language to a libidinous artist and the sum is pure romance. You don't know what the future brings, so hold on tight to this day, this moment, and allow yourself to enjoy a few moments of sensational music with someone special.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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