Miss Little Havana is her 26th album (astonishing accomplishment is an understatement), and her first English-speaking album since 2003. This Pharrell-produced album is filled with the familiar Estefanism; conga-infused, hip-swinging latin sounds, and melodramatic ballads, yet it places Estefan in a niche, as a few relevant latin artist in today's market. As you might have heard before, "WEPA" is her contagious single being played in your television screen and radio emissions as you read this. It's slowly becoming a latin anthem. How can those merengue-pop ("like merengue in the streets"!) sounds not entice a sudden movement of hips or feet? Maybe I'm being biased because I'm latin.
I'm throughly mesmerized by the Miami-based artist LEBO's album artwork. It sort of looks like an explosion of melted popsicles metastasizing into abstract figures of exotics birds. The small conga drums add a sense of a humorous symbolization of Estefan's beloved Havana. I'm equally please to see her in a frizzy fro a la Diana Ross. The whole image brings nostalgic memories of 80's Estefan, yet it's also pragmatic, vivid and full of life.
Gloria Estefan, a woman of a certain age, has been making the round of national televised shows in looks that are age appropriate, without appearing to grasp with Menopause. She showed up at The View, in a gorgeous deep purple silk shift and matching stilettos (possible Oscar de la Renta), she performed live at The ALMA Awards in a demure black ensemble with beaded lace bolero, and a olive green number at The Rachel Ray Show. She seems to know what silhouette works for her, knee-lenght shifts with a soupçon of décolleté. And it's paying off. There is nothing more desperate than women, of a certain age, trying to compete with 15-year-olds.
Now, get on the treadmill, and press play.