Vanessa Jones
June 06, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The hip-jiggling hottie Ricky Martin gets spiritual on us with his first Spanish-language CD (in English, it’s ”Souls of Silence”) in five years. Excise the smarmy ballads and this addictive fusion of African rhythms, flamenco, and Latin pop actually works. On ”Si Ya No Estas Aqui,” Martin’s vocal acrobatics impressively test his range. Guess sidelining visions of pop-music domination does wonders for the soul and voice.

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