Parlez-vous pop? Aguilera does

  • LIE SHIA ONG / edge correspondent
  • Monday, September 18, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News

What seems a new trend among pop artists is recording in a language other than their native tongue.

Among these artists are Boyz II Men, who recorded the single "I’ll Make Love to You" in Spanish as "Yo Te Voy A Amar," and 98 Degrees, who released a cut partially in Spanish, "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)."

But leading the way is RCA recording artist Christina Aguilera, who released her first all-Spanish album, "Mi Reflejo (My Reflection)" Sept. 12.

Aguilera’s Latin background was one of the factors leading her to record an all-Spanish album. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother was a Spanish translator. Though Aguilera’s roots partially lie in the Spanish language, she does not speak the language fluently and had to be taught while recording "Mi Reflejo."

The singer said in a press release, "It’s very cool for me personally, because it gives me a chance to explore my Latin side, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, even before I was signed. I love the Spanish language, which opens up a whole new musical arena for me. This will make my grandparents proud."

Aguilera’s album is unique in that no other artist has crossed over from English to Spanish fully. Other singers such as Ricky Martin and Selena started their careers singing in Spanish, then crossed over into English.

In a world where teeny-bop music has a reputation for sounding all the same, Aguilera’s new album ventures into new territory and adds another facet to the teen pop market.

Aguilera’s album features new cuts, including "Si No Te Hubiera Conocido," a duet she sings with Puerto Rican up-and-coming artist Luis Fonsi, and an upbeat song, "Falsas Esperanzas"

But Aguilera’s fans will notice a familiar yet new sound in several of the tracks. The singer’s chart-topping singles have all been transformed into Spanish, including "Genie In A Bottle" ("Genio Atrapado"), "What A Girl Wants" ("Una Mujer"), "I Turn To You" ("Por Siempre Tu"), "Come on Over Baby" ("Ven Conmigo") and the title track "Reflection" ("Mi Reflejo").

Aguilera is currently touring in the U.S., making an Oct. 19 stop in Seattle, where she will perform at KeyArena. She will also have a three-week tour of major Latin American countries, including Mexico, Brazil and Chile, in the coming months.

Aguilera has been awarded for her efforts. She recently appeared on the first Latin Grammy Awards. She also won New Entertainer of the Year at June’s ALMA Awards, which honor the best in entertainment from the Hispanic-American community.

Lending her soulful and powerful voice to a different language will help separate Aguilera from other artists out there. And other teen pop singers and groups who follow in her footsteps or explore new territories of their own may just have a chance at lengthening their careers when the phenomenon of "teeny-bop bubble gum" music begins to fade.

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