Paulina Rubio – “Border Girl” (2002)

After the success of the 2000 release of Paulina, Paulina Rubio released her first English language album entitled, Border Girl, just six months after 9/11. As record labels worried about business and sales after the crisis, Paulina sold over a million units with this crossover album.

Originally, Paulina’s first English album was to come after the album, Planeta Paulina, but once she parted ways with EMI that play became shelved. The English tracks to those songs were being saved. Once EMI didn’t have to make the album, they used the three prerecorded tracks for a Greatest Hits album to have new material. This might have been a good decision to scrap that album because what we ended up with is 100X better.

Paulina’s music has grown so much in eight years and her English had improved too. This allows music fans to hear a better version of our favorite Golden Girl. The debut song, “Don’t Say Goodbye” had a fair amount of radio play and she hit the US television talk shows to make herself known to that English speaking public.

The album didn’t sell as many units as her previous album, but for her first attempt, she did great. My personal opinion is that this album dropped a tad too late. Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias opened the door to Latin music in the US in 1999 and if Paulina had released this album before the previous album, she could have ridden the wave of Latin pop in the US. By 2002, Ricky’s “Livin La Vida Loca” & “She Bangs” became jokes to the US music scene. Fans in the US are a conundrum. One day they love you, the next day they are making fun of you.

Border Girl is a wonderful album and for a white boy who doesn’t speak Spanish, having a singer you have followed since the 80’s release an all English album, it was so great. I could finally sing along with her.

There are 15 tracks on Border Girl, one of which is a cover of Kiss’ “I Was Made For Loving You.” Not a great cover, but Paulina it’s decent. Most of the English songs are original numbers. We have a few translations from the previous album. “Y Yo Sigo Aqui” and “Yo No Soy Esa Mujer” both got English translations. Some of the original songs for this album had both English and Spanish versions released on this album.

The one Spanish track that did not have an English counterpart is the song, “Libre.” There actually is an English version of the song that was deleted from the album at the last moment. Paulina recorded the song, “Freedom,” but after 9/11 the song was trashed and went unreleased. A demo version has been leaked and can be found on YouTube (as of writing this review).

Overall, the album is a perfect display of what Paulina Rubio is capable of in both languages.

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