The Standards (Deluxe Edition)

The Standards (Deluxe Edition)

Gloria Estefan has been pumping out Spanish- and English-language pop hits since the ‘80s. Often these are designed for dancing or to put a romantic bounce in your step. Here, she reaches back to Tin Pan Alley and American pop ballads of the mid–20th century. No one could accuse Estefan of selling out with this collection—with 100 million in career sales, she’s doing just fine. Instead, we get a singer testing her mettle against countless others (including more than a few legends) who have recorded many of these tunes. Overall Estefan does fine, maintaining her signature sense of phrasing but leaning toward the subtlety that these songs and arrangements demand. English-language highlights include “Good Morning Heartache” and “How Long Has This Been Going On.” Also notable is her take on Jobim’s lesser-known bossa nova “Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar,” a version of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” sung in Spanish, and Carlos Gardel’s “The Day You Say You Love Me” sung in English. As this diva ages, fans could see a lot more of this, and that’s not a bad thing.

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