Life

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ricky Martin fell from grace hard with Sound Loaded, the 2000 sequel to his eponymous 1999 mainstream pop breakthrough and its hit single "Livin' la Vida Loca." Sound Loaded photocopied many of the sounds and styles of Ricky Martin, but it wasn't an exact duplicate: it was dingy, murky, and smudged, lacking the style and flair of the original, as evidenced by "She Bangs," the album's spin on "Livin' la Vida Loca." Following its commercial disappointment, Martin retreated from the spotlight for a brief period, releasing a Spanish album called Almas del Silencio in 2003, returning two years later with Life, his first English-language pop album in five years. On ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ricky Martin fell from grace hard with Sound Loaded, the 2000 sequel to his eponymous 1999 mainstream pop breakthrough and its hit single "Livin' la Vida Loca." Sound Loaded photocopied many of the sounds and styles of Ricky Martin, but it wasn't an exact duplicate: it was dingy, murky, and smudged, lacking the style and flair of the original, as evidenced by "She Bangs," the album's spin on "Livin' la Vida Loca." Following its commercial disappointment, Martin retreated from the spotlight for a brief period, releasing a Spanish album called Almas del Silencio in 2003, returning two years later with Life, his first English-language pop album in five years. On its album cover, Martin tries to strike a harder, tougher pose -- he has stubble on his chin and prominently displays a tattoo on his shoulder -- and that's just one of many different attitudes he tries out on the record. He starts the album with "Til I Get to You," one of the best and maybe only Robbie Williams knockoffs to date, segueing quickly into "I Won't Desert You," which is reminiscent of the best of early-'90s Jon Secada, before he hooks up with Scott Storch, producer of Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake, for a bass-heavy dance track, complete with cameos from Fat Joe and Amerie. Martin doesn't stop sampling styles there -- he does a by-the-numbers Diane Warren power ballad, dabbles in reggaeton, brings in most of the Black Eyed Peas for a track. In short, he tries to be a little bit of everything to everybody, which isn't a surprising reaction for a global superstar trying to both recover from a flop and to reintroduce himself after half a decade. Not surprisingly, not all of the styles work -- for instance, on the producer-driven dance songs, he sounds like a bit player on his own album, at once tamed and overwhelmed by the thudding bass and hip-hop beats. But there are as many moments that work here as those that don't and, tellingly, they're all tunes Martin had a hand in writing, including the aforementioned "Til I Get to You" and "I Won't Desert You" and the title track, which suggests that if Martin relaxed and wrote all of his own material, he might have a more consistent record on his hands. But that's not what he did here: he made a big-budget album, filled with cameos and collaborators. It fits his status as an international superstar and it's a livelier, better record than Sound Loaded, but he never once sounds as assured as he did on his 1999 breakthrough -- the difference between that album and this is that everything seemed to come easy for Ricky Martin six years ago. On Life, you can hear him struggle with what he should do and who he should be. Sometimes he struggles and succeeds, which is enough to make it worth a listen -- and it might even score him a hit or two -- but that palpable sense of exertion means this isn't quite the comeback or makeover it was clearly meant to be.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2005
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969346020
  • Catalog Number: 93460

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Til I Get to You (4:56)
  2. 2 I Won't Desert You (3:49)
  3. 3 I Don't Care - Amerie (3:48)
  4. 4 Stop Time Tonight (4:00)
  5. 5 Life (4:07)
  6. 6 I Am (3:31)
  7. 7 It's Alright (3:31)
  8. 8 Drop It on Me (3:54)
  9. 9 This Is Good (3:35)
  10. 10 Save the Dance (4:04)
  11. 11 Que Mas Da (I Don't Care) (3:29)
  12. 12 Dejate Llevar (It's Alright) (3:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ricky Martin Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals, Berimbau, Chant
Jon Secada Background Vocals
Alex Al Upright Bass
Rusty Anderson Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Wurlitzer
Randy Cantor Electric Guitar, Keyboards
Jorge Casas Percussion, Fretless Bass Guitar
Hossam Ramzy Musical Direction
Lee Levin Drums
Teddy Mulet Strings, Horn, Keyboards, chamberlain, Wurlitzer
Itaal Shur Bass, Oud
Patrick Warren Keyboards, Sitar, Mellotron, chamberlain
Daniel Lopez Percussion, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Guitar (Nylon String)
Albert Sterling Menendez Hammond Organ, Clavinet, Moog Bass, Juno
George Noriega Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Strings, Electric Guitar, Hammond Organ, Sitar, Background Vocals, Spanish Vocals
Javier García Background Vocals
Wagdey Ghoniem Violin
Rita Rosa Chant
Emanuel Baker Drums
José Antonio Molina Strings
will.i.am Bass, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Printz Board Bass, Trumpet, Keyboards
Tamer Yassin Violin
Adel Eskander Violin
Monir Hariri Violin
Tim Izo Saxophone
Aziz Jorge Violin, Soloist
Tamer Ghoneim Violin
Yasser Taha Cello
Ihab Sobhy Violin
Hesham Nabawi Violin
Debi Nova Vocals, Background Vocals
Noriega Fretless Bass Guitar
Mahmoud Osman Violin
Sean Garrett Vocals
Aymen El Hambouli Cello
Emad Taha Cello
Taha Taha Cello
Hassan Moataz Cello
Hassan Sharara Violin
Doctor Mohamed Abo Arab Viola
Emad Azmy Violin
Víctor Cabrera Keyboards
Khaled Dagher Cello
Doctor Kamal ElReedy Viola
Mamdouh ElWaaraq Violin
Ihab Abdel Hamid Violin
Doctor Samy Ibrahim Violin
Saad Kamel Violin
Ebada Mansy Violin
Amir Mikhail Viola
Mostafa Abdel Naby Violin
Jorge Pajon Guitar
Vivian Perez Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Francisco Saldaña Keyboards
Danielle Staley Background Vocals
Amichelle Winkler Background Vocals, Chant, Spanish Vocals
Pirulina Winkler Background Vocals, Chant
Dave Cabrera Acoustic Guitar, Strings, Electric Guitar, Sitar
Danny Lopez Electric Guitar
Keith Harris Drums
Technical Credits
Ricky Martin Composer, Producer, Engineer, Executive Producer, Author
Claudia Brant Composer, Spanish Lyrics
Randy Cantor Producer, Engineer
Charles Dye Engineer
Larry Gold String Arrangements
Jorge Gonzalez Engineer
Hossam Ramzy String Arrangements
Scott Spencer Storch Arranger, Programming, Producer, Vocal Producer
D. Warren Composer
Bob Wartinbee Engineer
Daniel Lopez Producer, drum programming, Bass Programming, Spanish Adaptation
Billy Mann Producer, Engineer, Vocal Producer
George Noriega Producer, drum programming, Vocal Producer
M. Robinson Composer
Matt Knobel Engineer, drum programming
Gustavo Celis Engineer
Javier García Spanish Adaptation
José Antonio Molina String Arrangements
will.i.am Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, drum programming
El Maestro Engineer
David Cabrera Audio Production
Dylan Dresdow Engineer
S. Garrett Composer
Conrad Golding Engineer
Scott Spock Engineer
Elias de León Vocal Coach
The Matrix Producer
B.E. Mann Composer
Kam Houff Engineer
José de Vega Image Design
Sean Garrett Arranger, Producer, Vocal Arrangements, Vocal Producer
Robert Shahnazarian Jr. Digital Editing, Pro-Tools
Víctor Cabrera drum programming
Jorge Pajon drum programming, Bass Programming
Francisco Saldaña drum programming
Maria P. Marulanda Art Direction
Danny Lopez Audio Production
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fun, and mature...

    I've loved Ricky's music since the begining of his career. This is different, in a much more creative way. It is the same message...love, loss, life, with a real emphasis on the message that he is trying to send out. The only thing that was frustrating was that his beautiful clear voice was muddled with others trying to harmonize, but just in a few spots. The songs are fun, romantic, and sexy. Warning... They make you want to get up and dance!! What more can you ask for??!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A welcome return...a welcome change.

    While I am a fan of his first two English albums (as well as his two most recent Spanish albums), the new album is a welcome change. "Life" successfully finds itself a place in the mainstream, while still maintaining an exotic flavor. Much of this album has a decidedly Eastern feel to it (as opposed to simply stereotypical Latin), using instrumentation and chord structures typically found in Arabic & Indian music. You may question Ricky Martin's dabbling in these rather obscure genres, however Latin music itself has its roots in the Middle East. He also wisely chooses to use the "next big thing" on a few of his songs: Reggaeton. Daddy Yankee's appearance on this album is smart for both artists, allowing for each to be introduced to a different demographic. I would expect to see Daddy Yankee release an English album within the next year. Should Ricky's album have any commercial significance (which I believe it will), I think it could usher in a new wave of music tinged with the same Eastern elements. Even much of 50 Cent's wildly successful "The Massacre" (especially this album's singles) uses Middle Eastern instruments, rhythms, and chords. I also believe Ricky's success will largely depend upon the performance of Shakira's new English album, "Oral Fixation, Vol. 2," to be released in November. And if "Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1" is any indication, Shakira is bound for a comeback herself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An eclectic mix of Life

    If I were to make an album, I would have a hard time sticking to a certain sound. I understand it's nice to have consistency with music, but I enjoy a lot of different types of music and I think no musician should feel the need to be stuck inside a box. I like Ricky's new image...and for some reason it doesn't seemed forced. I'm not sure I'll love the album, but anything's better than "She Bangs". How about a song with the Los Lonely Boys. That would be a nice addition to his next album. He's got a nice voice, he's just not sure where to go with it :-) I would add this album to your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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