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Music Review

Enrique Iglesias: 'Greatest Hits'

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Enrique Iglesias: 'Greatest Hits'
Released on Monday, Nov 3 2008

Ask your average music fan to name more than a handful of Enrique Iglesias tracks and they might be left struggling. In Britain, Iglesias has generally presented a passing blip on the musical radar, popping up every couple of years with a song that strikes a chord with the general public. Yet in just over a decade, the Latin star has sold a staggering 40 million records worldwide, becoming one of the most successful artists around.

This Greatest Hits album is a welcome reminder that he's responsible for some really quite memorable pop songs. 'Bailamos', the first single he released in the English language market, filled dancefloors across the country upon its 1999 release. Two years later, the number one single 'Hero' became symbolic of post-9/11 scenes of New York firefighters. More recently, 'Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)' featured one of the more unusual "instruments" in recent pop history - a bouncing ping pong ball used as percussion.

Like any popstar worth his salt, Iglesias has moved with the times - but with mixed results. Early singles 'Bailamos' and 'Rhythm Divine', with their heavy Latin influence, are nothing short of fantastic. However, mid-career ballads 'Hero' and 'Escape', actually two of his most successful singles, haven't aged as favourably. More recently, Iglesias has adopted a more R&B-influenced sound on 'Do You Know' and 'Tired Of Being Sorry'.

He's also recorded a number of high-profile duets, which range from the truly horrendous ('Could I Have This Kiss Forever' with Whitney Houston being the worst offender) to the thoroughly pleasant - 'Not In Love', a collaboration with Kelis, and new track 'Away', which features Sean Garrett, are both welcome inclusions. Meanwhile, Iglesias's Ciara hook-up, 'Takin' Back My Love', is a high energy R&B number that the Freemasons could do wonders with.

Rather predictably, some of the tracks here aren't quite worthy of "greatest hit" status. Both 'Maybe' and 'Addicted' are pure filler, while 'Somebody's Me', which stalled at #162 last year, really stretches the definition of "hit". Iglesias would have been wiser to include some of his Spanish language songs instead. But this isn't enough to diminish this album's overall effectiveness - most pop fans should, at least secretly, find something to enjoy here.

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