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.