Border Girl

Part sex kitten, part dance diva, Paulina Rubio—Latin music's latest crossover act—has fashioned her English-language debut more after Cher than Shakira.

Part sex kitten, part dance diva, Paulina Rubio—Latin music's latest crossover act—has fashioned her English-language debut more after Cher than Shakira. Border Girl is a party album, and Rubio comes across as the postcard-perfect party girl. There's no mix of styles here looking for pay dirt; Rubio is solidly entrenched in the dance formula, albeit a formula that boasts a wide array of elements, from the mariachi strains of "The Last Goodbye" (translated from her Spanish album) to the trip-hop-hued "Stereo." Throughout, Rubio conveys a definite sense of style that survives a few bland tracks (the single "Don't Say Goodbye" and a cover of "I Was Made for Lovin' You") and a voice that is sensually raspy but too wispy, a fact made more obvious by the excessive doubling of her vocals. Left to her own vocal devices ("Undeniable"), Rubio is more convincing and manages to leave an impression long after the party's over.—LC