by Enrique Iglesias, pop (2003)
Firm/Interscope, ASIN B0000E0ZYC

Oh my goodness, who let the dogs out? I have enjoyed this young man's previous two English CDs but I will be the first to admit that he's no great singer. He excels only in the confines of the studio, where the Autonote machine processes his voice into a semblence of key and he is free to work his inner charm on me. On Seven, however, the Autonote machine must be still with Britney Spears: Iglesias sounds like a dog suffering under the wheel of a tractor here.

Production-wise, the tracks here are still very listenable and the melodies and hooks are very catchy. Iglesias has retained the people behind his English efforts, only Seven is even more rockier than his previous efforts. Unfortunately, this means that Iglesias is shrieking at the top of his voice on tracks like Say It (a song that is eeriely like George Michael's Faith slowed down) and Free (a song where he takes potshots at his parents for not believing in his musical talents - ironic, I know). It's quite bad - he obviously cannot reach the high notes. It is hard to be charmed. Instead of dreaming of using my tongue play with his tonsils, I worry whether this young man will sing until he accidentally cough his tonsils out.

The closest to a sexy ballad here is Wish You Were Here (With Me), but like everything else on the CD, the production is top-notch but the studio people leave Iglesias' voice alone. Either the man has a very bad case of sore throat, he has been neglecting his voice training, or he just can't be bothered, because the only key we are talking about here is way off.

Seven will be a great CD if they have not labored under the illusion that Iglesias' voice can carry the songs without any studio magic at work. Listening to this CD, I feel embarrassed for Iglesias - he has inflicted a mortal insult on bad karaokes everywhere in his quest for musical integrity. Sometimes, the Autonote is your best friend, and when it comes to his music, Iglesias needs his best buddies more than some people.

Rating: 54

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