The Roxette Gazette

Baladas en Español

ReviewPer BjurmanAftonbladet

Note: This has been translated from the original Swedish.

Marie and Per

I so want to believe Per Gessle. I want it so badly to be true when he says that the driving force of the operation is still the love of pop music. I want to see him as the inveterate pop nerd who followed his heart and took over the world.

Because that is a very endearing and beautiful image.

But with “Baladas en Español,” it falls apart.

As the title might suggest, it is a collection of Roxette ballads in Spanish intended for audiences in Latin America.

And why does bandleader Gessle release it? Because he has such a strong relationship with Spanish-language pop? Is it because a new language is exciting? Because his heart wants it?

Of course not. The album is just an attempt to milk the average Juanito for money.

This is called speculation, and speculation stinks.

The songs are as they are, decent trifles, but the Spanish vocals feel very weird, at least to my blue-yellow ears. Marie Fredriksson occasionally manages to get an acceptable phrasing, but when Gessle goes off in, for example, “Vulnerable,” or “Tímida” as it is called here, he sounds like a Stockholm native trying to speak Dalmatian. Not really wise, then.

Hasta la vista, illusions.