REVIEW: Ricky Martin Gives Us Musica + Alma + Sexo

Ricky Martin’s ninth studio album, Musica + Alma + Sexo, introduces listeners to a “new liberated Ricky,” as one fan writes in an iTunes’ customer review.

This is the 39-year-old Boricua’s first production since declaring his homosexuality to the world last March and becoming a dad in 2008, and it’s clear that he’s embracing life.

Produced by longtime collaborator Desmond Child, who penned “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” the songs range from the inspirational to the passionate with lots of corazón in between.

He opens with “Mas,” a feel-good dance track about taking advantage of everything life has to offer without caring about what others say. It aims to jolt us like the “The Cup of Life” did in 1999. “Será Será” is dedicated to those who feel “unequal, condemned, marginalized without mercy” and spurs them to seize the future.

The reggaeton-tinged “Frio” slows things down with lyrics about a beautiful woman imagined by Martin and collaborators Wisin y Yandel. The remix of the song makes for a sexy dance floor number. “Te Vas” (and it’s English-language version, “Shine”) is about breaking up and staying friends, hence the optimistic dance beat.

The first single from the album, “Lo Mejor de Mi Vida Eres Tu,” features Spanish siren Natalia JimenezJoss Stone duets in the English-language track—and is the definition of happiness. There’s even some laughing and giggling at the end of the song in case you’re not already smiling.

There are plenty of soaring ballads dedicated to past and present lovers, as well. “Tu y Yo” has big flourishes and sultry lyrics about sweating in between the sheets, while “Te Busco y Te Alcanzo” is about unrequited love. The very personal power ballad “Basta Ya” has Martin professing “enough of condemning the voice within and faking sincerity/ I’m not afraid of fear anymore.” The rocking “No te Miento” continues the conversation. He tells his audience, “I want to be an open book with you.”

“Cántame Tu Vida” is a nod to Martin’s humanitarian work. In the tropical ballad, he sings about street kids and asks them to tell him about the dreams they’ve yet to dream, while a flute whistles in the background. 

Overall, the pop album feels like a dream come true for Martin, who has been in the spotlight since he joined Menudo as a 12-year-old, and can finally be himself. He brims with pride throughout—and it’s definitely infectious. 

Listen to the entire album on Ricky's official website.