Holy moley - Enrique Iglesias is back with his eight album - and this time, if he's got anything to do with it, there'll nary be a dry-eyed or weak-knee'd damsel within a ten mile radius of his latest sultry emanations. The Spanish heartthrob has long been a favourite with pop-loving womenfolk of the Spanish-speaking persuasion, just as his father was before him; yet it wasn't until 1999's Enrique - his first English-language album - that his throb was hearted by the rest of the western world's female population. That album spawned his breakthrough hits Bailamos and Rhythm Divine - admittedly both ace pop songs - and its follow up hatched the similarly-gargantuan sopfest Hero. It was with some surprise then, that Iglesias would disrupt the gathering momentum that his career was undertaking to record his third Spanish-language album in 2002, Quizas; and indeed, the sales of both that album, and its successor (7) were not half as favourable as those of yesteryear. It makes sense that Insomniac should be a compound of Iglesias's two languages then, although the overwhelming melancholic ambience suggests that it's certainly not a fusion of styles. Insomniac's title really gives it away; it's a wearisome, exasperating and downright vapid collection of songs, with a running time that's far too long (over an hour!) and a mood that's glummer than Pete Doherty's dentist. Every track here is either a sombre, mumbled, slow-moving number that sounds dated and cumbersome (Ring My Bells, Tired of Being Sorry), cheesy radio-friendly dirges that have been done a million times before and better (Missing You, Somebody's Me, the ludicrously-titled 'Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)') or are just so amateur-sounding that they're embarrassing (the Lil' Wayne-featured Push). Iglesias seems to be running out of ideas for lyrics ("Baby, you're gonna love what I do / When I'm on top of you") as well as music (Little Girl sounds uncannily similar to a pop reshuffling of David Gray's This Year's Love); yet, still only at 32, you have to wonder if Enrique has the same longevity as his father. Insomniac attests to the contrary; this is the kind of turgid rubbish that gives pop a bad name.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Tuesday 3rd July 2007 | Album Review