Luis Miguel Serves Up More of the Same

** 1/2


"Nada es igual"

WEA Latina

"Every morning when I wake up/I feel anxiety in my soul/I want to listen to your voice/I want to feel your kisses." That, roughly, is how Luis Miguel's first studio album in two years opens, and unfortunately, the record has plenty more such lines. Coming from someone who is considered the best Latin singer to emerge in years, such corny, one-dimensional visions of loooooove are hard to swallow. The worst part is that, with all its flaws, "Nada es igual" (Nothing Is the Same) is far better than most Latin offerings in this often unlistenable genre.

What are Luis Miguel's secrets? First, there is no better singer in Latin pop, and as a producer (with the help of Kiko Cibrian), no one has clearer understanding of what a professional-sounding record is. Despite three or four songs that rank among Luis Miguel's best, "Nada es igual"--which entered the Southern California album chart at No. 1 this week--is basically a continuation of the singer's favorite turf--a mix of mid-tempo, jazzy, brassy, Al Jarreau-like pop songs and those woman-melting ballads that, for all their shortcomings, are less predictable than those of, say, Cristian or Enrique Iglesias.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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