Manero

Miguel Boo-sé

By: Marcelo Báez

Thanks to a handful of songs—most of which were released literally decades ago—Miguel Bosé has been able to enjoy a moderately successful career. He’s a household name; one of those pop stars everyone knows and, at the very least, assumes to be legit. Bosé writes his own music and knows how to use a thesaurus so, at least technically, he should be legit, and sometimes he is.

But putting Miguel’s work under the microscope can reveal lots of cracks. Just like other well-regarded songwriters *cough* Robi Draco Rosa *cough*, Bosé puts out 10 boring songs for every good one. (If you think I’m being too rough, try naming one of Bosé’s songs that’s not 20-years-old off the top of your head. And yes, he’s been quite active.)

A few months ago, Miguel released Amo, his 19th studio album, and while trying to find information about it (I mostly wanted to know why its cover is so damn horrendous), I found this long, tedious and extremely pretentious biography. I could only stomach half of it, but it made me realize that Bosé’s pedigree—which is fully glorified in the text—may be partly why his legend overshadows his actual work.

So is Amo worth your time? Eh... well, surprisingly, it’s way better than Cardio and Velvetina, his last two LPs. Bosé has been stuck writing dramatic pop ballads for years (and, apparently, still is), but some melodies on Amo are actually catchy. Both “Libre ya de Amores” and “Amo” have memorable choruses, and that’s cool, in spite of the silly new age pamphlet-worthy lyrics (“How does the sun avoid drowning when it falls behind the sea?”).

And I’d almost forgotten Miguel knows how to write terrific dance music until “Aparece el Sol y Llueve” cued up. “Sí Se Puede,” the other upbeat number on Amo, isn’t quite as good, but listening to “Aparece” made me wish someone would lock up Bosé in a studio, and wait until he writes an album’s worth of dance songs before letting him out. (All the boring ballads he can’t stop himself from writing, should be handed over to Thalia.)

For someone who claims to have an ear on the ground—and is a total dick about it—you’d think Bosé’s records would occasionally throw a few curveballs in terms of experimentation, but that’s not the case. The rest of the songs on Amo basically sound all the same with the exception of the Asian-flavored “Un Nuevo Día,” which is only mildly novel.

For years Miguel Bosé was the Ricky Martin before Ricky Martin: a Spanish-singing, good-looking, ambiguous papi with hordes of female fans. Bosé always released edgier pop than Ricky, but now both are just as bland and irrelevant. Days gone by, I guess.

But going back to this self-congratulatory biography, where it is stated that Bosé has strongly considered dropping his entire music career in order to become a marine biologist *eye roll*, we should mail Miguel a wetsuit so that he can be on his way to saving not only Willy, but our eardrums, too.

LOGISTICS: Amo by Miguel Bosé, available now

Marcelo Baéz is a writer, DJ, and musician based in NYC. When he's not producing "Rico Suave" parties, he releases music under P3CULIAR.