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Richmond Times-Dispatch

Marc Anthony’s "Mended" A Worth Effort

By Denise-Marie Balona

May 31, 2002
Copyright © 2002
Richmond Times-Dispatch. All Rights Reserved.

Via ProQuest Information and Learning Company


Marc Anthony remains the standout voice from the late '90s Latin pop crossover that gave us Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin. That could be faint praise for this muscular singer, especially when you consider that his contemporaries are little more than 98-pound vocal weaklings.

"Mended," his second English-language effort, is better than his 3 million-selling pop debut, 1999's "Marc Anthony." That outing was swimming in ballads and came off as a letdown for a man who spent years ripping through hearty salsa staples.

Yet "Mended," although more musically balanced than "Marc Anthony," still pales compared with the fiery triumph that was last year's salsa disc "Libre."

That said, "Mended" does have worthy moments. The best, "I've Got You" and "Tragedy," revel in catchy, Latin-spiced hooks and slick but muscular percussive beats that compliment the New York-born singer's R&B-soaked deliveries.

Granted, those songs aren't far removed from "I Need to Know," Anthony's breakthrough pop hit. And with "I've Got You," just as with "I Need to Know," we get a Spanish version, titled "Te Tengo Aqui." It's a marketing ploy, of course, so Latin pop radio can embrace this project as well.

And this time he goes more for high drama than he did on the previous pop CD. In particular, "Do You Believe in Loneliness," with its acoustic guitar-driven melody and strings-laden chorus, is bombast at its most effective.

Elsewhere, "She Mends Me" and "I Wanna Be Free" are love songs with radio potential. Those tunes, like the entire album, work primarily because Anthony is a quintessential salesman. With his voice, he could probably sell sand to a desert nomad. B-

Each new release is graded from A (the best!) to F (try again).

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