Old (New) Ricky

By: Marcelo Báez

Earlier this week, Ricky Martin released “Adiós,” the first single from his upcoming 10th studio LP. Produced by Jesse Shatkin (Kylie Minogue, Sia), Yotuel Romero (Orishas) and Rayito, “Adiós”—which was released in English, Spanish and French—sounds like a hasty attempt to catch up to the Brazilian-inspired EDM tracks Don Omar, J. Lo and Pitbull have made so unfortunately popular.

In an attempt to stand out, the single has been glazed with Santana-like guitar riffs and sprinkled with Middle Eastern instrumentation. Still, for all its candied ingredients—including the sappy Spanish 101 lyric sheet—“Adiós” is nothing but a bloated dance track. And beware: listening to all three versions may cause your ear canal to develop its own type of diabetes.

Ah, but lest we forget, this particular genre, the Latin-esque-club-sound-for-the-masses, was actually pioneered by Ricky in the late ’90s. Back then the ex-Menudo was one of the biggest stars on earth and it seemed like he was never going to lose his place. The ’00s, however, were not kind to Martin (with the exception of Sound Loaded, none of his subsequent releases have sold more than a million copies in the US). All too quickly the likes of Shakira and Enrique Iglesias put an end to his Latin Pop reign. This decade hasn’t been any kinder to Ricky; his last studio record, Música + Alma + Sexo, only moved a mild number of copies for an artist of Martin’s stature.

Ricky, maybe it’s time you say “Adiós” to papi pop. Instead, try saying hello to—I dunno, black metal, trap or whatever the kids are listening to nowadays.

LOGISTICS: Adiós” by Ricky Martin

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