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17 by Ricky Martin
Released: Nov 2008
Label: Sony Music Latin
At first glance, the Ricky Martin presented on this disc isn't the randy bad boy of '90s fame. He seems to be laying a kind of retroactive whitewash on his catalog, turning away from the panting, hormone-driven heights of songs like "She Bangs" and opting for the sensitive-guy ballads that may not have burned up the charts, though they will gently smolder in your speakers like a mid-winter fire. But you can't suppress the real Ricky, and the turbo-charged wag we know and tolerate reappears soon enough, pumping his man-sized fist on "La Copa de la Vida" and kicking through walls on "La Bomba."
Sarah Bardeen