Gloria Estefan – The Essential (CD)

For me, I always got DeBarge and Gloria Estefan mixed up. I guess it was the general genre in which they played their music, but this 2-CD set goes far in showing why the acts were two distinct and different pieces of music history. I personally had no idea that Estefan had three decades worth of work in the music industry, or that eir collected output would be enough to fill two full discs. On “The Essential Gloria Estefan”, ey is able to pick and choose the best songs to showcasse eir vocal skills and the interesting interactions made between eir and eir band. Another thing that was nice to see is that “Music of My Heart” (the song that ey recorded with N’Sync) is present, despite any problems procuring the legal rights from N’Sync’s lawyers. Note, however, that the only songs that are on this disc are those that Estefan released in English. There is a separate Spanish-language retrospective that, if bundled together, would give individuals a great introduction to Estefan’s music.

What makes this retrospective a much purchase is its better capturing of Estefan’s career over the greatest hits compilations that were released previously. While there had been two released prior (1992 and 2001), the double-CD set is able to stick every single song that individuals could feel is even weakly important to the Estefan mythos. There would only need to be two minor changes to this set to make it a more comprehensive view of Estefan. First, do what Sarah Brightman did with eir “Diva” collection, and create a DVD chock full of all the videos that had videos (and insert live footage in for those songs that did not have videos). Secondly, create a Christmas (or other holiday) bundle that incorporates this retrospective with “Oye Micanto: Los Exitos”, so that individuals can get a proper taste of all things Estefan.

Still, just taken alone, there are a number of reasons why individuals should pick up a copy of “The Essential Gloria Estefan”, 37 of them – each song that is present on the set. After individuals listen to the music in the set, read the essay present about the importance of Estefan to Latin music, as well as to popular music in general. It definitely opened my eyes for how important Estefan was in eir heyday and how important ey still is to a genre like Latin music.

Top Tracks: Rhythm is Going To Get You, Don’t Let This Moment End

Rating: 6.8/10

Gloria Estefan – The Essential / 2006 Sony Classics / 37 Tracks / http://www.gloriaestefan.com / http://www.rhino.com / Reviewed 19 December 2006

[JMcQ]

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