Eager Pupil

For Spanish teen sensation Malú, the music must keep pace with her sex appeal

Following the success of her debut Aprendiz (Apprentice) and a second CD, Cambiarás (You Will Change) -- and a contribution to the Spanish soundtrack of Disney's Mulan -- Malú opted to record Esta Vez in Miami for a simple reason: She wanted to get away from the homeland. "Had I recorded this album in Spain, there would've been so many more people involved in it," says Malú, rolling her eyes. "And that's exactly what I did not want, all those influences. I just wanted my producers and my mother there with me."

Wowed by Malú's voice and disposition, Estéfano claims there was not much he could contribute. "There are tips and things you can say to make the recording sound better," says the Colombian hitmaker, who is currently working on Thalia's new pop album. "But in the end it was all to Malú's credit. She has one of those voices where you can record the song once and that's it."

"I'm very serious about my music," the teen explains. "This time, however, I felt like doing something a bit more daring." Maybe that's why one of her favorite songs on Esta Vez is "Ven a Pervertirme" (Come Pervert Me).

But don't get worked up; Malú is not vying for a Lolita crown, and the song is not even in the same league with Madonna's "Erotica." In Malú's voice lines such as "I promise to be docile and obedient" come off more suggestive than titillating.

"There's a place for that kind of track as long as it is done in an elegant and subtle way, and I really liked the lyrics," the singer rationalizes. "This is an album done with a lot of sensitivity. It is not the typical album of a cute girl who releases a record just to sell."

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