On Feb. 1, Ricky Martin drops his first studio album in six years: "Música + Alma + Sexo" (Music + Soul + Sex) or "MAS" for its acronym in Spanish. We spent an afternoon with Martin in his home studio (with children calling for him outside his window) and he walked us through his new set, track by track.
"It could be the 80s or the 90s or last Spring. Depends what generation you belong to. What I wanted to do was dance a little with this track and get away from the things you're supposed to do in life. And I introduce some characters there who are all artists, like Tico with his boom box in Manhattan. I made them up but they're real."
"I fell in love with the melody of this song, which was brought to me by Wisin & Yandel. We sat down -- Wisin & Yandel, Desmond Child and me -- and we worked on the lyrics to make them more me. So we have several versions and we're working on a remix. The lyrics say, "You're beautiful, like the waves in the sea." And many people say, 'But Ricky, you've said you're gay.' And I say, 'Well, doesn't mean I'm blind. And I've also been in love with women before.'"
3. "Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tú" (featuring Natalia Jiménez)
"I told Desmond --and I'm not making comparisons -- but "Don't Worry Be Happy" is great. That's how this song came to be. From being in a very cool place in my life.
4. "Te Vas (Shine)"
"The lyrics to this song changed a lot. And we go back to the same point. I needed to make the lyrics my own. It's a goodbye. You're leaving, but we're still friends."
5. "Tu Y Yo"
"This is a pretty ballad that describes the intimacy of two bodies together. Anyone who's physically made love will identify with this song. Musically speaking, it's a great showcase for the musicians that play here."
6. "Cántame Tu Vida"
"On the one hand you have the tropical aspect: Puerto Rico , the cuatro as an instrument and the use of the clave in this song. And it also speaks of kids who live on the streets, who are seduced by it by guns, or drugs, and it's about me trying to be their ally, wanting to listen to the pain inside their young souls."
7. "Te Busco Y Te Alcanzo"
"It's like the shark on the hunt. The lyrics are about going after someone, and how do I convince you to get together. But the music is about the most marvelous string arrangements I've heard in my life."
8. "Será Será"
"This song is dedicated to everyone that feels different, that feels marginalized. It's me, saying, I'm going to love myself, I'm going to protect myself. I'm not walking in the shadows.
9. "No Te Miento"
"I can be anything but a liar. Some people say, 'So Ricky, you've been lying all along.' And I say, 'No, I'm not a liar.'" The song says: "I'm not a liar, this is my reality. In my eyes you see I have nothing to hide. And maybe you'll love me. Maybe not. After all this, I would understand. It's not written for any one in particular in my mind. Perhaps even for myself."