Adeli’s Music Blog

Ten Years Ago This Week

Posted in music by adeli on July 13, 2009

This week in 1999, songs from Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and Ricky Martin kept us dancing into the new millennium. 1999 was the year that both Christina and Ricky made their debuts on the pop charts. While Ricky Martin had been on the Spanish charts for years, it was his self-titled English-language album debut that catapulted him into super stardom. (For more on Ricky Martin go here.)

Below are the Top 5 Songs this week in 1999:

#5 Livin’ La Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin

#4 “Genie In A Bottle” – Christina Aguilera

#3 “Last Kiss” – Pearl Jam

#2 “If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez

In the #1 spot:

Bills, Bills, Bills” – Destiny’s Child

Holiday Divas

Posted in music by adeli on December 25, 2008

Divas Do Christmas! Part II

Posted in music by adeli on December 15, 2007

Christina Aguilera in her 2000 My Kind Of Christmas gives passionate renditions of holiday standards as well as some new material. While Christina and her powerhouse voice are always passionate, in some places on this album it was too much. But in the end, we’re always amazed at the heights her voice can reach!

The standout songs are Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, O Holy Night, Merry Christmas Baby, and Angels We Have Heard On High, along with two of the new songs, Christmas Time and This Year. The CD begins with these two songs, and they are great pop songs. While, Xtina’s Xmas is a great titlefor a song, it’s a weird 90-second interlude of who knows what…

Christina’s strongest performance on My Kind of Christmas is Merry Christmas, Baby. It starts with the opening of Auld Lang Syne, and Dr. John is the guest piano player and vocalist. Dr. John, trombones, trumpets, and saxophones, and of course, Christina’s voice make this the funkiest and strongest song in this collection. Check it out on iTunes, and if buying the album is too much, don’t hesitate to spend the 99 cents on Merry Christmas, Baby!

Here’s Christina and the fabulous Brian McKnight performing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

Christmas Time Merry Christmas, Baby (on David Letterman )

The Christmas Song

Divas Do Christmas!

Posted in music by adeli on December 14, 2007

Two things about Christmas songs, mainly the religious ones: Not everybody can sing them and some people really shouldn’t. But when it comes to the two divas who can reach octaves as high as the Star of Bethlehem: Mariah and Christina – Let Them Sing! Let Them Sing! Let Them Sing!

Mariah Carey’s 1994 Merry Christmas is not a pop-filled album. The focus of this album is not the winter wonderlands, gifts, or the sleigh rides, but celebrating the birth of Jesus and being with the ones you love. Only three songs are poppy or non-religious: Miss You Most (At Christmas Time), Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and All I Want for Christmas is You. Of the three, the last is the best, and in true Mariah style!

She belts out the most difficult Christmas hymns quite beautifully – Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Holy Night, and Silent Night, and the sleep in heavenly peace doesn’t sound awkward as it quite often does. She gives these and Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child very soulful renditions. A standout song for me is Joy To The World. Here she sings the traditional hymn and it seamlessly turns into Three Dog Night’s Joy To The World. So subtly, you might miss it!

She is accompanied by gospel singers on several songs, and her voice (in case there was a doubt) has volumes of soul, making Merry Christmas one of Mariah’s most solid albums, along with her self-titled debut and The Emancipation of Mimi. So, take a listen on iTunes, and for only $7.99 make it part of your collection this season!

Watch Mariah’s most powerful live performances here:

Joy To The World

O Holy Night


All I Want For Christmas is You

Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)

Un, Dos, Tres…

Posted in music by adeli on October 22, 2007

Surely one of the most exhilarating moments on a Grammy Awards show was Ricky Martin’s live performance of “The Cup of Life” in 1999. It earned him a standing ovation, and a few minutes later, he won a Grammy for his Latin album, Vuelve. His performance left everyone in awe, turned on, and wanting more. Some said, “Who is that guy?” While others said, “Hey, that’s Ricky from Menudo!” It was at that moment that he went from being known solely in the Spanish music world to becoming a superstar around the globe.

My first exposure to Ricky Martin was when he was part of the Puerto Rican group, Menudo. Menudo was among the original boy bands. It didn’t consist of brothers like The Jackson Five or The Osmonds, but it had just as many, if not more, girls swooning over their dance moves and adolescent voices. Menudo changed its members as the teens’ voices changed from boy to man. Ricky’s heyday in that group was during the late 80s.

I met Ricky in 1987. My neighbors, Elena and Kiri, and their friends were Menudomaniacs, and introduced me to the phenomenon. I didn’t understand the appeal, because at the time, I wasn’t into Latin music at all, certainly not bubblegum pop, and I was on my way out of the teen years. But little by little, I was sucked in, and enjoyed seeing my younger friends getting so excited, and I’m not kidding when I say excited, about these guys. That summer, my friends found out through an ‘inside source’ that Menudo was staying at the River Parc Hotel in downtown Miami and that if we showed up there, we could meet them. I was older, not necessarily wiser, but I could do something they could not. I could drive and had my own car! So, I was begged to go on a Menudo hunt. And it actually worked. We waited and waited with no other fans to compete with, and they arrived, wearing acid washed jeans and jackets. Ricky was among them, and the four of us spent some time with the five of them. After twenty minutes or so, their handler told us the boys had to leave, so we said goodbye. Ricky gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “I’ll see you at the concert when we come back to Miami.”I wasn’t planning on going to the concert, but as the one closest to adulthood, I was the designated chaperone for my younger friends. So, on the night of the concert, I drove 8 others and myself in a car that should really only carry 5 people. At the concert, I kept my distance from the craziness and waited around towards the back for everything to end. I could hardly see above the crowds anyway. But in the end, it worked out wonderfully for my friends because again, we were let in on the whereabouts of the boys after the concert. My friends got to meet them again, and I opted to wait around in the hotel lobby.

Ricky became a solo artist some years later, and I liked his music much more. He was singing ballads and some very upbeat songs that would later become English hits for him when he made his mark with “Livin’ The Vida Loca.” Interestingly enough, one of his producers and the composer of “Vida Loca” and several of his English hits is Robie Rosa, a fellow Menudo. Although his English songs are catchy, his strength lies in his native Spanish.

His standout album is definitely the Grammy-winning Vuelve. It has Maria, from which the title of this post comes from. It also has La Bomba, the ballad Vuelve, Por Arriba Por Abajo, La Copa de La Vida, and other great tunes. There are English versions to several of his songs, which is nice, but in no way are they as caliente as the originals. Another recommended album is Almas del Silencio. That too has great songs like Besos de Fuego (my favorite), Jaleo, and Razas de Mil Colores. Elena, Kiri, and I saw Ricky in Miami for his Livin’ The Vida Loca concert in 1999, and it was two hours of dancing and screaming. We were happy he had made it this far.

I saw Ricky again last year here in New York City. It took place on December 8, which was the coldest day last year. But, since it was Ricky and general admission, the girls were happy to wait all day in 6-degree weather! My friend and I arrived an hour or so before the show to stand in a line that went to the end of the block and around Broadway. It was my friend’s first Spanish concert and she didn’t understand the craze, plus we were freezing our butts off. Thankfully the temperature had risen to a warmer 20 degrees. I bought two photos of Ricky with the Puerto Rican flag. One I handed to Margarita as a souvenir of her first (and probably last) Ricky concert, and the other I sent to my friend Elena in Miami. The temperature inside: at least 100 degrees. No seats, just mobs of us standing and dancing for about an hour and a half. In the crowd, there were not only screaming girls – some with their boyfriends – but also Americans who didn’t espeak a word of Español, but were enthralled when he started dancing. It was a great time, mostly because he performed the songs that his true fans know and love and not just the hits that aren’t necessarily his best. Was it worth the $100 tickets? Si!


If you want to relive that Grammy moment, click here.

Ricky and Christina Aguilera: Nobody Wants To Be Lonely