From the Vault...


Ricky Martin
"Sound Loaded"

© Columbia Records


track listing
  • She Bangs
  • Saint Tropez
  • Come To Me
  • Loaded
  • Nobody Wants To
    Be Lonely
  • Amor
  • Jezabel
  • The Touch
  • One Night Man
  • She Bangs
    (Spanish Version)
  • Are You In It For Love
  • Ven A Mi (Come To Me)
  • If You Ever Saw Her
  • Dame Mas (Loaded)

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    Ricky Martin
    "Sound Loaded"

    "SHE BANGS!" -- Was it Ricky Martin's version you most remember, or (most likely) was it William Hung's version, from American Idol? He became famous when he reached #1 in 1999, with "Livin' La Vida Loca." And, what many may not know, is that he started out recording Spanish albums, and was a member of the Menudo.

    Sound Loaded was released in 2000, and was the follow up album that contained "Livin' La Vida Loca", his self-titled album. (Not to be confused with his debut album (1991), which was also self-titled -- Ricky Martin.

    Latin music is the highlight, just as his previous albums. There are tracks here just as upbeat as "She Bangs" -- "Loaded"/"Dame Mas" (Spanish version), "Amor" also is like "She Bangs," however, it also compares to the later years of Santana, expecially his #1 hit with Rob Thomas, "Smooth." "Are You In It For Love" is another comparison to "She Bangs," but just sounding a little slower. Another upbeat tune is "If You Ever Saw Her."

    The standard Latin sound are also standouts: "Saint Tropez," "One Night Man," "Cambia La Piel." Then there are some nice, laid back songs: "Come To Me"/"Ven A Mi" (Spanish version), and "Nobody Wants To Be Lonely," which sounds more like a song that the Backstreet Boys could have recorded. "The Touch" is a very nice ballad. "Jezabel" is more of a song for a soundtrack, latin in style, and almost has a style heard on the famous 1950s hit, "Fernando's Hideaway."

    Yet on some tracks, Ricky Martin's singing voice could be better ("Nobody Wants To Be Lonely," "If You Ever Saw Her"), but it doesn't hurt the overall rating of this album. The Spanish versions of some of the songs are just as equally good as the English versions. "She Bangs" in Spanish should get another dose of heavy playing/airplay.

    Yet it's the Spanish language when Ricky Martin first started out with, in his music career. In fact, one of those Spanish albums has already been reviewed here -- A Medio Vivir.

    "Livin' La Vida Loca" was heavily playing on the radio, and "She Bangs" would be another hit. Yet this particular song really got the notice, when William Hung appeared with it on American Idol, where he (Hung) performed this song, in his own unique way. And although he would never advance with the others who COULD ACTUALLY SING... Hung was more famous as a novelty act, and with his version of "She Bangs," he became an overnight sensation. (Don't worry, William Hung's album with his version of "She Bangs" WILL be reviewed here, at a later date.)

    For Latin music fans, Sound Loaded is loaded with good latin rhythms. Martin's music may not be as big as other Latino artists, but his music is enjoyable. Some songs better than others, there are good tunes here. "She Bangs" gets the nod of approval as the best track, whether it be English or Spanish.

    From my review of A Medio Vivir, the question was asked "By the way: What ever happened to Ricky Martin these days???"

    Ricky Martin has recorded a total of 10 solo albums, from 1991 to 2015. He continued to record albums, all-Spanish, and all-English (mostly Spanish). He took a break from 2007 to 2010, to focus on his private life. In 2008, while having a platonic on-off relationship wiht Mexican TV host Rebecca de Alba, he became a father of twin boys, Matteo and Valentino. The twins were born by a gestational surrogate mother. However, his personal life became a subject of interest, when he had a gay following. On a Barbara Walters inteview, he was asked if he was gay, and he pretty much stated that he didn't have to answer that question. But in 2010, he publicly came out as gay, and was proud of it. Also that year he stated he was bisexual, and in 2012, he confirmed he was bi, yet he was only interested in romantic relationships with men. (He had a relationship with a man in 2011, which ended in 2014.) He still claims he is bisexual, saying "I am gay, men fascinate me, but I like to enjoy sex in total freedom, so I'm open to having sex with a woman if I feel desire." UPDATE: In 2016, he announced on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, that he was dating a man, Jwan Yosef, a Syrian-Swedish partner of Kurdish and Amerian descent. In 2018, Martin announced that he and Yosef are married. He has also contributed to humanitarian work, such as collaborating with the International Organization for Migration, and his work against human trafficking. He also supported President George W. Bush when he was elected. He expressed in 2010 during the Billboard Latin Music Awards, his disagreement with the Arizona SB 1070 bill, a proposed law that would have required police officers to request documents from individuals who they suspect to be illegal immigrants.

    Ricky Martin has made good music, both Spanish and English, and has exceeded his adventures in life as he sees it. Nothing wrong with that.

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    Previous Review: #1634
    Next Review: #1636
    Grand Funk Railroad--On Time