Enrique Iglesias doesn't strike us as the type of dude who'd coordinate his outfit (a slim-fitting, three-quarter-sleeved baseball T-shirt and designer jeans) to match his fully loaded cherry-red Jeep Wrangler. Then again, we're not the advertising division of Chrysler.
Earlier this month, the auto giant tapped Iglesias and tour mate Jennifer Lopez for a collaborative spot, pushing the carmaker's impressive fleet of stylish American-built vehicles "imported from Detroit."
Under the influence of his passionate Latin gaze and the magic of a few quick edits, we could hardly resist our deep desire to test-drive a Jeep. For 31 beautiful seconds, Enrique's eyes peered deep into our soul and tickled the part of the brain that says, I need a new car.
Bad credit and a mountain of debt, however, snapped us out of it. And soon it was back to mundane reality. Just us and a few Enrique Iglesias albums to get through life in a rusted hoopty.
Enrique Iglesias, 1995. While some folks were swooning over Radiohead's sophomore effort, The Bends, the timeless ballads from Iglesias's self-titled debut looped on our tape deck. Though we experienced little, if any, emotional connection to Enrique's deeply personal collection of songs about women he'd loved, hurt, and would love again in his lifetime, the record isn't a bad listen if you're trying to pick up an unmarried, 36-year-old schoolteacher in Hialeah.
Enrique, 1999. As the 20th Century came to a close, Iglesias dived into the American market and created a bigger splash than "Ham" Porter's cannonball in The Sandlot. El tipo came bearing gifts — a brief lesson in Spanish and a crossover hit that had Middle America screaming "bailamos!" That infectious three-and-a-half-minute ditty topped the Billboard 100 for two consecutive weeks and set the tempo for Iglesias's career. He followed the bilingual "Bailamos" with "Rhythm Divine," yet another chart topper, only this time on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks. Tack on three more singles and a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America, and Enrique was already a superstar by the time everyone in the country was balling their eyes out during "Hero."
Escape, 2001. Life changed dramatically after the 9/11 attacks. A lot of brave men and women — some still with us, some not — became heroes that day, and certain songs became symbolic anthems. "Hero" was one of them. Frankly, we've never listened to the rest of Enrique's Escape album. Like many Americans, we promised to "never forget." And "Hero" is a constant reminder that terrorists suck and America will always prevail. Fuck off, Al-Qaeda.
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Insomniac, 2007. It was far from Enrique's best record. In fact, Insomniac is widely considered to be his worst. But that's precisely why we think it's an essential component of any Iglesias collection. We see Insomniac as a metaphor for life: It's not always pretty, and mistakes are inevitable. It was a bad album — so what? Sometimes you write a hit, and other times you mix metaphors. Not every batch of lemonade tastes like optimism; there will always be sour grapes.
"Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" digital download, 2010. After nearly 20 years in the business, Enrique finally grabbed America by the waist and opened up about his intentions on 2010's biggest party anthem: "Here's the situation... You know my motivation/Given my reputation/Please excuse, I don't mean to be rude/But tonight I'm fuckin' you."
Is it weird that we really, really, really wanna test-drive a Jeep right now?