Single Review: Ricky Martin “Livin’ La Vida Loca”

Livin’ La Vida Loca
Year: 1999
Album: Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin has passion! He loves music! And he’s passionate about the music! In 1999, Ricky Martin had broken through to American audiences. He marketed himself as an androgynous heartthrob and refused to talk about his private life.

In “Livin’ La Vida Loca”, written by former Menundo members Desmond Child and Robi Rosa, Martin falls for a wild and exotic woman. Like the drive thru at the local Taco Bell, the single is quick, simple, and not the least bit authentic.

The music, chock-full of trumpets and guitars, is high-paced and only includes the minimal amount of Latin elements. Its MTV-like quick cuts from verse to verse don’t leave any time to pay attention the lyrics. However once listened to it’s discovered that Martin is glamorizing a severely neurotic woman, disguising herself as a free spirit. Martin sings with enthusiasm that he “woke up in New York City/in a funky, cheap motel/she took my heart/and she took my money/she must’ve slipped me a sleeping pill.” He sounds honored that he was in a situation that he could’ve gotten raped or killed.

Martin, with all his elation and average vocal ability, cannot change the fact that “Livin’ La Vida Loca” is a novelty song.

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