With Escape—and its first hit, the undeniably charming "Hero"—Iglesias permanently shakes off the media-driven notion that he's merely riding papa Julio's platinum coattails into public

With Escape—and its first hit, the undeniably charming "Hero"—Iglesias permanently shakes off the media-driven notion that he's merely riding papa Julio's platinum coattails into public prominence. While Enrique is not likely to be revered as one of this generation's great vocalists, he has done a fine job of establishing himself as a distinctive, appealing stylist who knows how to sell a great tune—and Escape is filled with many great, radio-ready tunes. Iglesias also does a respectable job of proving his mettle as a songwriter and producer, forging a rock-solid collaboration with studio upstarts Steve Morales, David Siegel, and Kara DioGuardi. Together, the four have cooked up such tasty, can't-miss pop treats as the dance-inflected "Don't Turn Off the Lights," the warmly romantic ballad "Maybe," and the thumpy, Latin-spiced title cut, which seems to be moments away from saturating top 40 radio airwaves.—LF