By London Braithewaite
Luis Miguel's career with the North American public can be classified into several different stages. They are marked by seminal album productions which had no precedent in his career up the point of their release. Three of these stages, which could arguably be called the most significant, are: the Pop/Adult Latin Contemporary (UN HOMBRE BUSCA UNA MUJER, 20 ANOS); music of the Goldern Era (the ROMANCE series); and the Live Concert Performance Recordings. AMERICA & EN VIVO ushered in the latter of these stages. It was the transitional release and format type that Luis Miguel would perfect on the two future releases of live recordings--the start of something great.
I do not agree that the live recordings of LM are "all the same." Certainly, the three songs on this CD and the rest of his live repetoire, are never quite the same sampling of music. For one thing, HOMBRE BUSCA and 20 ANOS firmly established LM once and for all as a Pop icon and deft interpretor of modern ballads as well as the up-tempo compositions. He'd been a favoured performing artist for eight (yes, 8!) years on Latin American television and film prior to these two productions. But having recorded ROMANCE brought to him the honing of his indelible skill to a brilliant clarity and sharpness, a kind of vocal "high-fidelity." It can be best described as the kind of interpretation that Sinatra and Fitzgerald were famous for giving their master composers. Go back to these two artists' songbooks and you'll never quite accept anyone else's--thus much with LM. A subsequent and necessary effect of that work changed his perspective for the lyric: He had now grown into a vocal and emotional (i. e. interpretive) maturity. He could still nail a string of notes to the wall, but his became a more informed and skilled approach. It is perhaps the most remarkable development in all of his career. It took his live performance to a level of impeccable phrasing and timing that remains to this day. It is his ability to give every song he brings from the precision of the studio to the freshness and improvisation of the stage, making it seem like one is hearing a song from him for the first time. It comes from a settled confidence and centered strength, encouraging his audience to trust him on a new journey with a familiar and beloved lyric. Listen to "No Se Tu" from this title. Now listen to the same song from EL CONCIERTO. Yes, it is still the same old song...but it is yet sublime, heartbreaking, meticulously beautiful, this voyage taking you farther still