Video Review

Evolution (1990)

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; With: Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

Just like the songs that have made Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine a mainstream hit factory, the 17 videos on this compilation are polite, wholesome, and unlikely to offend anyone except those intolerant of unabashed blandness. A far cry from the high concepts of most rock videos, Evolution is as safe and predictable as milk.

Although Estefan's clothes and hairdo appear in constant flux, the only evolution in the band's music evidently occurred right after their first hit, 1985's salsa-flavored ''Conga.'' The rest of the clips alternate between two shallow grooves in the middle of the pop road — mildly energetic melodic dance music and simple ballads — and betray no trace of Estefan's Cuban roots.

Amid the standard stage performances, cola-commercial mood pieces, and corny production numbers, only the two clips directed by Paula Walker break the routine. The vibrant ''Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)'' mixes tropical heat and cultural flavor into a potent visual brew, while the arty ''Don't Wanna Lose You,'' a grainy, sepia-tinted exercise in modern dance, is strikingly out of place.

Lest Estefan be accused of neglecting her Latin fans, Evolution contains a bonus segment: ''Anything for You'' and ''Oye Mi Canto'' reprised in Spanish (with alternate lip-syncing edited in), a Portuguese rendition of ''Here We Are,'' and a live clip in Spanish for ''Don't Wanna Lose You.'' These are more interesting than any of the selections in English. C

Originally posted Mar 16, 1990 Published in issue #5 Mar 16, 1990 Order article reprints
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