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Iconos ()

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On Iconos, his second album of cover material in a row, Marc Anthony revives a small selection of ballads by the likes of José José, Juan Gabriel, and José Luis Perales. It's a finely crafted album tailor-made for Latin pop airplay, but it's a rather frustrating release for those fans who wish he'd finally get around to recording some original material. Not since Amar sin Mentiras (2004) has Anthony released an album of originals. That Latin pop crossover album, which like Iconos was produced by Julio Reyes, was followed by Valió la Pena (2004), a Sergio George-produced salsa makeover of Amar sin Mentiras, Sigo Siendo Yo (2006), a greatest-hits album with a couple new songs, and El Cantante (2007), a collection of Héctor Lavoe covers that served as the soundtrack to the film of the same name. Like all of these follow-up releases, Iconos includes a bit of original material to tantalize fans who might otherwise wait for the day when Anthony gets around to recording a full-length album's worth of originals. In the case of Iconos, it closes with "A Quién Quiero Mentirle" and "Maldita Sea Mi Suerte," a couple originals written by Anthony in tandem with Reyes and Juan Pablo Vega. These two originals are in the same mold as the eight covers that precede them on this ten-song album, dramatically arranged with all-out orchestral accompaniment and showcasing the full range of Anthony's vocal ability. He gives it his all, and he's fairly impressive as a vocalist. His passion for this cover material is evident, particularly on the lead single "Y Cómo Es El." However, there's no doubt that Anthony is at his best as a salsero, which makes Iconos all the more frustrating for those fans who wish he'd get around making a proper album like in the old days. Granted, it's not fair to criticize him for being opportunist or for putting out cheap gap-fillers. Despite its brevity and reliance on cover material, Iconos is comprised of first-rate music, and El Cantante was downright superb. Anthony may not give fans what they want, but at least he gives them quality material. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi Hide synopsis

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