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Wes Larkins

Stunt Coordinator
Apr 10, 2003
Hey J and everyone

Sorry ive been busy and havent been able to write in my review of Gloria's new album. I received a promo copy of "UNWRAPPED" back at the beginning of August and I love the album its so awesome its quite a different turn for Gloria, she went down a different path for this album. This one is a mainly pop rock album, very guitar oriented, not horns and not much of a dance music album like she has done in the past. Gloria is known for her uplifting live energetic performances, and they are great but this album is awesome and im gonna do my best to give you a preview of it lol not sure how good I am at reviewing and album. First ill say its hard to explain the song on the album all of them are mainly pop rock. The sound on some of the songs reminds me of kind of a Fleetwood Mac sound, track 12 "I Wish You" sounds like something the Beatles recorded, she used the Beatles influence for this one very neat sound. One person I know said they think of Nora Jones a little when they here some of the tracks. But its hard to label. Its Gloria's new sounds and its awesome

I am a big Gloria fan and have everything shes ever put out and im not saying that I love this album because its her, I really mean this is a great album. Ive made copies for a few friends and they absolutely love it so I hope people enjoy it I cant wait to hear the reaction.

This is Gloria's first English "Studio" album since 1996 "Destiny" which she toured for this album in 1996/1997 the "Evolution Tour World Tour" which included these hits: Reach, You'll Be Mine (Party Time), I'm Not Giving You Up, and Higher. 1998 she took a different path again releasing "Gloria!" which was a all dance album top to bottom it included the hits: Heaven's What I Feel, Oye, and Don't Let This Moment End.

As for the new one UNWRAPPED:

Wrapped is the first single from the album, it hasnt officially been released to radio yet but its been getting airplay. Hoy (the Spanish Version of Wrapped) has got airplay and debuted at #20 on Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, and this is the 4th week and its at #5.

Gloria, her husband Emilio, and Sebastian Krys (he has produced stuff with Sting) are the producers of the album, and Sebastian also was one of the primary writers of the music on the album.

The promo CD i got has Gloria talking about the album and gives a little info on some of the tracks on the album.

Theres 14 tracks on the album (and 4 bonus tracks - spanish versions 4 of the english ones)

A Little Push
This is a great song, mid-tempo, a lot of guitar and drums on this song very pop rock, this is one of my favorites

Te Amare
Another one of my favs, up-tempo 1 of the 2 upbeat up-tempo songs on the album very pop rock, the song is an english one she is expressing the love of her family, and how that love will never change, very neat song very nice sound its very different its hard to explain really, but a lot of guitars and a lot of drums on this one is very high energy, has a jamaican dance rhythm, also known in puerto rico as kana (not sure about the spelling on that one) use of some puerto rican instruments bombo drums, and mandolins. very high energy it is a great track

Your Picture
This is a nice pop rock ballad, a lot of guitars, a little use of drums

This is a great great song, this is the first single, mid-tempo, very organic, Peruvian traditional sound, different South American instruments used, including some Peruvian guitars and drums, 10 string Andian guitar, some instruments from Argentina, very rock (not much of a latin sound like some of you may be thinking, just because the instruments are from Latin America doesnt mean that the song has a Latin Sound because 1 of the songs on the album has a latin influence and that was the last one Te Amare

Time Waits and I Will Always Need You
Mid-tempo great sound on this these, I think of Fleetwood Mac when I hear these 2 especially on Time Waits. A lot of traditional guitars on these 2 very pop rock. I Will Always Need You is one of my favs I love this song its very different its a modern pop rock track its really neat i love the guitar sound on this one.

In The Meantime
Another ballad this is my least favorite on the album, somewhat like Your Picture.

Dangerous Game
Really cool arrangement very different, has some Brazilian instruments and uses some guitars that are used in Samba music but again its a very modern arrangement, no latin sound on this one, this one is really neat I think this one has a little touch of the Eagles, when I hear it I think of them a little

Into You (w/ Stevie Wonder)
Very modern arrangement has some rock, jazz, and african influences, Mid-tempo, Stevie Wonder adds the Harmonica parts on this one its really nice

One Name (w/ Chrissie Hynde from the Rembrants from back in the 80's)
Very Very different this song is very hard to explain its just got a totally different type of sound on it, use of traditional guitars, and some South American influences from Venezuela. Neat story behind this one, this song was inspired by a guy that lives under a bridge in Miami that they pass by everyday when she takes her daughter Emily, Edgar Edgar they call him she was impressed with him seeing him trying to make a life living under the bridge having his clothes hung out drying from where he had been trying his best to get them clean lol, when you hear the song you get understand better I think, but the song took on a life of its own after that and that people are all the same, we are all of one name all need the same things were all people

I Wish You
they used a lot of traditional instruments, some vintage guitars, going through vintage guitar amps, they tried to recreate a sound of the 70's and you can tell it on this song, has a strong influence of the Beatles on this one she says and you can really tell it sounds a lot! like the Beatles. This is one of my favs this is a great great song I hope they release this one as a single

This one is probably my favorite, falling in at 2nd is probably I Wish You. Its hard to pic favs there all so awesome. BUt this song is a modern pop rock song real high energy up-tempo I love this one.

she wrote all the words and music on this one, its a real neat song not really a ballad kind of slow mid-tempo but a slow song telling about she handles tough life situations, she wrote this one around the time of some bad experiences that we had (9/11) and the last line is "though its been one hell of a ride... i never intended to be famous" which she never really intended to be, her husband emilio is behind all the fame part hes made her who she is today.

4 Spanish Versions
Te Amare
Tu Fotografia (Your Picture)
Hoy (Wrapped)
Mientras Tanto (In The Meantime)

This albums is awesome I really love it its a great one it comes out Sept 23rd so I hope you all get it and enjoy it Id like to know what you all think about it

Email me if any of you have any questions email [email protected]

Check out my site for more info on UNWRAPPED. cover art and covers and release info on the singles Wrapped/Hoy (they have been released in Europe and on Sept 15th in the UK.

Again im not the best at reviewing haha lol, so if you get confused i hope youll understand lol



GLORIA!: The Complete Gloria Estefan Discography Database

Justin Lane

Senior HTF Member
Jan 18, 2000
Thanks for the review Wes. It looks like I may just have to pick up this disc if it is less "dance" oriented than past releases.


Wes Larkins

Stunt Coordinator
Apr 10, 2003
Heres a much better article on the whole album this is a press release from the Universal Music Publishing Group check this one out

There are singers who can captivate a community. There are vocalists whose sound can penetrate deeply into your soul. There are entertainers who can mesmerize, enlighten and entertain, all in one breath. Gloria Estefan who does it all, effortlessly.

Gloria Estefan is a true original. With nearly thirty years in the music industry to her credit, the woman who broke down musical barriers and set a higher standard for all genres of music has returned with a penultimate album that continues her artistic mission statement.

“As an artist, I feel like my mission is to entertain. And more importantly, to give people a way to say things,” says Gloria. Songs have always done that for me—given me a way to express myself. There are so many people who have told me that my music helped them through a rough time in their life. What can be better than that? I just have to continue to grow so that I can continue to make music that inspires my listeners.”

The result is an amazing piece of work from a gifted singer/songwriter and producer. The entire CD was recorded live, giving the album a raw, uncensored vibe that is pure and intense. All of the musicians and vocalists collaborated together, recording their takes simultaneously, which gives Unwrapped a powerful cohesiveness that brings musical excellence from the intro to the finale.

For the first time, Gloria flexes her muscles as a producer. Along with her husband and long time producer Emilio Estefan, Gloria helmed the boards with the assistance of Sebastian Krys, who has worked on her projects for many years.

“Sebastian is one of our prime producers and an incredible, Grammy-winning engineer,” says Gloria. “And he ended up becoming one of the primary writers on this album.” In addition to branching out in terms of production, Gloria wanted to invite musicians that would give Unwrapped a distinct sound. The one and only Stevie Wonder was at the top of Gloria’s wish list and Stevie needed no convincing. His amazing harmonica solo and unmistakable sultry voice appear on the sexy and soulful “Into You.” “I love and adore Stevie Wonder and have worked with him on many occasions,” says Gloria. “But this is the first time we’ve recorded together. He has been a major influence on me as a writer, as a musician and as a singer. I gave him a call and he said, ‘Gloria, we’re family, I’m there.’ He not only threw down an incredible harmonica solo but he also sang on it and I will forever be thankful.”

Musicians who are not yet household names also earned pride of place on Unwrapped. Manu Keche, a drummer from The Ivory Coast who has played with Sting and Peter Gabriel, performs on several tracks. “His sound combines jazz, rock and African rhythms seamlessly,” says Gloria. “It was hard for me to concentrate sometimes just watching him.” Gloria says she wanted the album to be like a photo album, filled with snapshots of her life and the journey from there to here. Unwrapped is a musical journey through one woman’s life. And it is as inspirational and heartfelt as the diary of a true survivor.

The album begins with “A Little Push.” With a brooding bass line, Gloria’s voice is as strong and forceful as ever. On a spare track with strong guitar riffs, Gloria weaves an inspiring tale of the little push that often leads to love. It invokes the butterflies that flutter in your stomach when you meet your first love. And the timelessness of the sentiment is unwavering.

“Te Amare” invokes the heat of Miami, with splashes of reggae as well. “Usually this kind of music is programmed but we wanted to do it live so we got the mandolin and the cajones and this song just became one of my favorites. I’m talking about a journey—both literal and figurative—something we can all relate to.”

One of the most wrenching songs on the album is “Your Picture,” a haunting ballad that features a touching guitar solo. With true love, the colors may fade but the feelings never do, just like a photograph. The subtlety in the songwriting makes this song feel like it could be dedicated to a lover, a friend or a child. But for Gloria and Emilio, it has a special meaning.

“Emilio and I had a portrait done for his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary about ten years ago. It’s a really beautiful picture and it inspired this song. His parents were like my own parents. His mother used to travel with me and take care of my son. And Emilio’s father passed away on Emilio’s 50th birthday this year. But this picture is just as bright and vibrant and special. No matter what, nothing can fade that.”

Unwrapped runs the gamut, from inspirational enlightenment about the human condition, “Time Waits” and “One Name,” to gutsy love songs that lay out all emotions on the table, like the spiritual “In the Meantime” and “Wrapped.”

“One Name,” a gorgeous duet with vocalist Chrissie Hynde, begins with a line about a man living under a bridge. “That song was inspired by a man named Edgar who was actually living under a bridge near my house,” says Gloria. “The message here is that regardless of our experiences, we all want and need the same things.”

“I Wish You” is a power-ballad that shoots directly for the heart, pulling no punches. Telling someone that you love them, and wish them the best, even when they have wronged you, is often harder than when they have not. The concept, underscored beautifully, with sublime production, is a wistful goodbye that manages to empower the person who is being hurt the most.

Letting go and giving into the seduction of Unwrapped is like glimpsing a collection of well-worn photographs. The salsa-flavored “You” brings to mind a carefree woman in a flouncy skirt, posing on a beach of white sand. “Say Goodbye,” a sweeping, cinematic, theatrical ballad conjures up a woman faced with challenges, praying for strength in tough times.

“The instrumentation lends a lot to those feelings,” explains Gloria. “We used vintage instruments that made the live recordings feel intimate. We wanted it to feel almost like nature—very warm and organic. We used traditional instruments to replace what would usually be western instruments. Instead of lutes, we used the cajones. We used panpipes instead of guitar. We also used vintage keyboards, vintage hollow body guitars and even vintage amps. We got some really cool sounds that way. We wanted to combine the feel of the 1970s with a very modern sound.”

In addition, four songs, “Te Amare,” “Tu Fotografia,” “Hoy,” and “Mientras Tanto” have been translated from their English versions. It is a special treat for not only her Spanish-speaking fans but also those who are mesmerized by her delivery in her native language.

The lyrical highlight of the album is a song called, simply, “Famous.” The last line is chilling in its simplicity.

Why should I have to defend or deride? Most of the rules of the game I’ve defied. Though it’s been hard on my pride. It’s been one hell of a ride. Curiously, I never set out to be famous…”

So what did Gloria Estefan set out to do? What was her personal mission in life?

“I set out to do something I really love and live my life. I always knew I would help people in some way. I knew that would be my calling. Fame? I never looked for that. I just wanted to leave something behind for people to enjoy.”

Once again, Gloria’s mission is accomplished. As an entertainer, a vocalist and a writer, she has invited the world into her heart. The result is nothing short of incomparable. Unwrapped is yet another monumental landmark in Gloria Estefan’s esteemed career. For nearly thirty years, she has been a mainstay in both the Latin and pop music worlds. Her start came courtesy of her husband, Emilio, who was fronting The Miami Latin Boys. In the late 70s, Emilio asked Gloria to join as the lead singer, and later to join him as his wife. She accepted both offers. The group became Miami Sound Machine and by the ‘80s, they were known for their top-selling, chart-topping albums like "Cuts Both Ways," and "Let It Loose" and a string of hit singles, including, “Conga”, “1-2-3-4,” “Anything For You,” and “Rhythm Is Going to Get You.”

erall, Gloria Estefan’s illustrious career has included recording the official theme for the 1996 Summer Olympics, three Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award for directing her first video, “No Me Dejes De Quere,” an Oscar nomination for the title song for the movie “Music Of The Heart,” which she also appeared in, opposite Meryl Streep. With over 70 million in worldwide record sales, Gloria Estefan is the most successful Latin crossover artist in the history of pop music.


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