Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Miami Sound Machine [extended]

  • Primitive Love [Epic, 1985] B
  • Let It Loose [Epic, 1987] B+
  • Cuts Both Ways [Epic, 1989] C
  • Greatest Hits [Epic, 1992] Choice Cuts
  • Gloria! [Epic, 1998] Dud

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Primitive Love [Epic, 1985]
CBS's preemptive strike at MCA's TV-soundtrack capability casts Gloria Estefan, in real life the daughter of a Batista bodyguard, and her hub Emilio, "Percussion, Manager," as minstrels to Viceland's cocaine trade in crossover mode. Real criminals like their music tougher (also live-er), but before you tsk-tsk the perfidy of cops you should heed your body and note that these prefab grooves move--not least the one called "Mucho Money." B

Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine: Let It Loose [Epic, 1987]
She's compelling when the rhythm gets her, annoying when she pledges slow-motion devotion, just like uncounted party girls before her--and also like uncounted rock pros before her, which is more the point. Don't deny her her gimmick--received or stolen though this suburban salsa may be, it can getcha. B+

Gloria Estefan: Cuts Both Ways [Epic, 1989]
I was perplexed to catch myself enjoying parts of this until I recognized the feels-so-good-when-it-stops syndrome--who wouldn't perk up at a sleek salsa montuno or tap-dancing synperc break when the alternative is Karen Carpenter with an unlocked pelvis? C

Gloria Estefan: Greatest Hits [Epic, 1992]
"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"; "Conga" Choice Cuts

Gloria Estefan: Gloria! [Epic, 1998] Dud