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Album Review: Enrique Iglesias - Sex + Love


Perhaps one of the longest running campaigns prior to an album release, Enrique Iglesias released seven singles before the announcement of Sex + Love - his tenth studio album and second bilingual release. Reviewing the European release, the album mixes up-tempo club tracks, mid-tempo pop anthems and Latin balladry in a similar manner to the singer's 2010 album Euphoria.

Iglesias has found a style that works with producers The Cataracs (with production credits for Selena Gomez, Robin Thicke, Sean Paul to their name) for six of the standard album's eleven tracks. The album also sees him team-up with DJ Frank E, Mark Taylor and Sandy Vee.

The first of the Catarac's productions is addictive club anthem I'm a Freak - a track which screams Summer hit and sticks with the euphoric club feel of Iglesias's previous hits Tonight (I'm Fucking You) and I Like It. Iglesias packs the Pitbull-assisted track with his expected Latin sex-appeal and charm and clearly has a lot of fun with the track's trashier lyrics: 'Lights off, lights on, ready for some action, Baby, come and give it to me'.

Flo-Rida joins Iglesias on There Goes My Baby, a laid-back mid-tempo track that has a light reggae-flare and earworming chorus that sticks with the raunchy lyrics 'I get so high when she goes down down low'. Sticking with a similar mid-tempo vibe is second Pitbull track Let Me Be Your Lover which is a smooth-pop track with a building chorus which harks back to Iglesias's earlier work - most notably the carefree pop of his 2003 album Seven.

The first of the Spanish language tracks, Bailando also harks back to the singer's earlier work (a la Bailamos). Here Iglesias is joined by Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona whose deeper vocals blend perfectly with Iglesias's smoother tones resulting in an instantly likeable mid-tempo Latin pop anthem. Stunning vocals continue in later collaboration Beautiful where Iglesias is joined by Kylie Minogue for a gorgeously understated vocoder-ballad. Minogue's vocals are filled with a heartfelt beauty whilst Enrique's soulful charm compliments them to perfection, most notably in the soaring chorus which sends the track into emotional overdrive.

Swapping one pop diva for another, Jennifer Lopez joins Iglesias on Physical - another standout of Sex + Love. This sexually charged high-energy club duet sees the two superstars clearly having a little fun. Filled with generic lyrics about the club, best showcased through Lopez belting out 'the club is pumping, blow up the roof', Physical embraces that it isn't cutting edge or particularly original but remains a joy to hear. Not so joyful is filler track Still Your King, an up-tempo number tainted by frustratingly high-pitched backing vocals.  

Second of three Spanish language tracks Loco serves as a tender romantic ballad, whilst the Mark Taylor produced Only a Woman joins Beautiful as one of the few English-language ballads. Previous single Heart Attack is pleasing electro-charged mid-tempo fun, as are the highly-charged Finally Found You and I Like How It Feels - the latter standing as one of Iglesias's most underrated singles. Turn the Night Up is a sizzling electropop anthem complete with pulsating production, sexy vocals and an addictive whooping chorus.

Sex + Love covers all bases, ensuring that there is something for everyone. The club-friendly tracks are slickly produced and filled with a high-octane energy, the ballads are complete with a raw charisma and emotion, and the mid-tempo tracks hark back to some of the singer's best work. Iglesias remains one of the most charismatic performers working and reassures us that he is still at the top of his game with Sex + Love, a stellar pop album.

★★★

Sex + Love is available to pre-order now. You can stream part of the album over on Enrique's Facebook.
Sex + Love 1765467904207069383
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