Insomniac,” Enrique Iglesias’ eighth album, earned its name after the nearly four years of sleepless nights and restless days spent recording it. The period of time between his last album and this one is surprising, since Iglesias had previously released seven albums in eight years.
The album has 15 tracks, three of which are in Spanish. And though the songs in Spanish have a better flow to them, they are basically re-recordings of existing songs on the album. One can make the argument that the album is a bit of a disappointment because Iglesias has said he recorded an additional 20 songs in the process of crafting the album, out of which only 12 original songs were used. Depending on your point of view, you can either call it high standards, or saved material for another album a few months down the line.
The overall quality of “Insomniac” is surprisingly decent, but you wouldn’t be able to tell with such poor song titles as: “Ring my Bells,” “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song),” “Little Girl”. These titles don’t quite get you in the mood to seduce a woman in a bikini, as seen in the video for “Do You Know.”
“Push” featuring Lil’ Wayne, is the only song on the album where Iglesias collaborated with another artist. The result is an out-of-place track with Wayne’s annoying voice rapping and making sound effects throughout the song. And speaking of annoying things in the background, “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)” is called that because the sound of bouncing ping-pong balls is constantly heard throughout the background. I like the song, but that sound effect bugs me every time.
The song variety on “Insomniac” varies from “Sombody’s Me,” a slow ballad, to the electric beats of “Tired of Being Sorry”. Although Igelsias has made an effort to vary the styles of the songs, you can pretty much fit this album under the pop category.
As mentioned earlier, the Spanish version of the songs are a lot better than their English counterparts. Although the melodies are the same, the lyrics aren’t a direct translation. I get the impression that they are how Iglesias originally envisioned them, and that the English versions were the afterthoughts. This tends to happen with other crossover artists. Take Shakira for example: her songs are decent in English, but much better in Spanish.
Despite these few gripes, there are a few songs on the album I wouldn’t mind putting in my iPod. I mention that because I don’t think “Insomniac” merits a recommendation at full price, but if you pick and choose the tracks you like on your preferred music service, you can not only save money, but end up with a better listening experience.