July 01, 2002 12:00 PM

Paulina Rubio (Universal)

Mexican-born Paulina Rubio’s last release was named Billboard’s Latin Album of the Year for 2001. But on her English-language debut, there is little to suggest that Rubio’s disposable dance-pop will match the crossover success of other Latina divas such as Shakira. The thin-voiced but videogenic singer, who has also achieved fame as an actress in Mexican soap operas and films, brings to mind Kylie Minogue with fluffy, ’80s-style uptempo numbers such as the single “Don’t Say Goodbye.” She even does a high-energy club cover of Kiss’s 1979 hit “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” Making a couple of forays into the pop-R&B territory of Jennifer Lopez, Rubio also awkwardly adds hip-hop elements to the mix, bringing in rapper Pretty Willie for one song. Rubio still remembers her roots, peppering some tunes with flamenco guitar and brassy horns while performing four tracks in her native tongue. Even so, the results aren’t very spicy.

Bottom Line: A borderline effort

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