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It's On the House – 1997 (Capitol)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Emilio

Historically, Hispanic C & W singers have not had much staying power north of the border - just ask Johnny Rodriguez or Freddy Fender, if you can find them. Don't look for Senor Emilio to change that tradition on his second album, as there's not much here that different from your average hot new gringo.

There's a depressing sameness here, partly due to Emilio's limited vocal range and partly due to choice of material - eight out of ten tunes are mid-tempo rockers. Give him credit for one thing however, he's eclectic in who he rips off: "Forever Seventeen" is Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine" minus the charm, while "I Love You to Love Me" is a cheap swipe of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me," and"Somebody Stop Me" manages to evoke both John Anderson and Jim Carrey. A definite lowlight is the sappy and sexist "She Gives" an attempt to revive the I-love-my-wife-she's-such-a-great-doormat sub-genre. The prediction is Capitol will drop this sombrero act faster than you can say "Emilio who?"