CD with holder.
Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin's self-titled first English-language album is a triumph of an omnivorous world-pop sensibility--but more important is that at its best, it's a real kick. The first single, "Livin' la Vida Loca," employs a revved-up tempo to praise a girl whose "lips are devil red [and] skin's the color of mocha." Martin is no less irresistible on the disc's other uptempo numbers, such as "Spanish Eyes," "The Cup of Life" (the 1998 theme which with he stole the telecast a few months before this CD's release), and the -indebted "Shake Your Bon Bon." Ricky Martin loses momentum with its draggier ballads--even the much-touted duet, "Be Careful (Cuidade con Mi Corazon)," doesn't spark--but overall, it deserves its inevitable multiplatinum success. --Rickey Wright