Gloria Estefan – Miss Little Havana

The congas, bongos, bass, percussion, triangles, drums, cowbells, maracas and timbales are all classic Latin instruments, and Gloria uses them as she always has. Listening to this album really makes me feel like I’m in Miami, with an updated sound machine. Some will love it and some will say it’s OK, but either way, you gotta love La Estefan. She’s coming out of the dark, again!

LITTLE MISS HAVANA – It’s the Miami Sound Machine meets 80’s Freestyle, a mix of today & yesterday’s radio pop. The scenario is the same, a young girl in the hot city who just wants her freedom.  She’s 17, with the body of a model, dancing it up like she just hit the lotto. And we all know that all amounts to za za za zero. She’s telling Little Miss Havana to open up her eyes, obre los ojos.

I CAN’T BELIEVE – I feel like it’s the beginning of so many tribal, house tracks. I’m in the middle of the dance floor and about to be taken on a journey. I’m thinking of my friends Phil and Brian. I want to celebrate in the fiesta. It’s bilingual with the steady sound of cow bells and shakers. This track is sorta kinda like a ballad. You wait for a drop beat and bass that never actually comes in, but I love it. The, trumpets finish off the Latin flair, it’s natural, an acoustic feel of the islands.

HEAT – It’s sultry, seductive, I love the feel of it, like I’m a cheerleader at a Heat game. It’s a steamy song that makes you want dance a little nasty. It’s hot like the summers in Cuba. And, while you just want to let go and give it all up, she’s asking you to think harder than you normally do, but you just can’t. You just better hope you have a condom.

WEPA – I feel a tracki tracki regaetton track is about to come on and the bass hits and WEPA, I feel like I’m in Rio doing the Samba fast as hell, can you see my feet? You can even dance meringue or the fast, housey 2 step to it! The track has great energy and I love it.

SAY AY – I feel like I’m going into a salsa dance, I want to find my girl and take her to the floor. In fact, I loved it so much that I danced an entire salsa routine in my living room with the blinds open. Watch out for me, you might see me on someone’s youtube.

SO GOOD – The track just makes you want to let your arms loose and just shake your hips like Shakira and Beyonce in Beautiful Liar. It just feels so good. It’s more of an oldschool track and the kind my abuela would like, which reminds me to make her a copy so she can enjoy.

RIGHT AWAY – This is is a little different than the rest, the bass is deeper, I feel like I’m winding down a bit, perhaps the waaw waaaw sound, I can’t tell what instrument it is, and I hear Pharrel, who co-produced the album.

MAKE ME SAY YES – I don’t think they had auto tune when Gloria was out, but she sure found it here on this track. It sounds like Britney’s ‘gimmie gimmie more’ and I just want to FF.

TIME IS TICKING – She’s a little young spring chicken recalling her childhood and living it through. She’s more mature, talking about life & karma, about what goes around & comes around. A timeless message and reminder that time is ticking away, and we must LIVE FOR TODAY! Hay que vivir para hoy! You can’t argue that.

HOTEL NACIONAL – It’s time for hoochie koochie. The DJ just threw on the “Bitch, get to the dance floor” track and give me 60’s Doo Wop. This song reminds me a lot of Kristine W’s, “Blow Your Own Horn”.

ON – OK, I’m back in Rio shuffling my feet faster. Then, I feel like I’m at a luau in Hawaii. Licky licky take it easy on me.  The Miami Sound Machine has exploded in the jungle. They are turning me on this song makes my body want to move. It’s something about those Indian & African sounds that get me. I’m by a fire and want to dance.

MAKE MY HEART GO – Funny I mentioned Indian cause that’s exactly what I felt like in the opening of this track, and the Latin & Indian infusion blends well.

I can hear this album playing in any tropical or Latin setting. It fits very naturally, my nieces can enjoy it as well as my mother and grandparents. It speakes to many ages and leaves you feeling good, as music should. Gloria is being true to herself and her culture today, with the same instruments of yesterday. She’s been around for as long as I can recall and deserves as much respect as any other long standing artist.

She really is Little Miss Havana!


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