Ricky Martin has been busy with a greatest hits release, recording Vida for the official 2014 FIFA World Cup soundtrack and being a coach on The Voice Australia the past few years.
A sadly descending riff combining guitar, piano and banjo opens the track, already surprising listeners unfamilar with Martin’s non-Menudo or 1990s bombastic, corporate, radio-friendly heyday material.
Martin’s bare but proficient vocals pulsate amongst steady piano chords in the verses, before rising gently with the chorus, which admittedly just trudges along. It doesn’t really get a chance to set things alight, despite a melody reminiscent of larger-than-life Mutt Lange-produced tracks like Shania Twain’s From This Moment On.
The track ventures well and truly into safe, soft country-pop territory on the second verse with the corny guitars, violins and echoey ballad-appropriate drums. The bridge attempts to reach an emotional peak, but wilters back to the so-so chorus. In fact, the best part on the whole song is the unusually emotional instrumental ending, as the banjos, drums and strings lamentfully fade away into the distance.
Despite its dramatic title, Disparo al Corazón doesn’t sweep listeners off their feet. It would suit a lengthy road trip through dusty, sun-swept plains where the occupants of the car would listen cosmetically, instead of an epic highway singalong. However, it is an unconventional choice of genre for Martin, and he should get credit for that.