Ricky Martin and Carla Morrison trade aching verses over hollow, snapping production on their new duet “Recuerdo.” The song is the third single off his brand new EP, Pausa, which also features Residente, Bad Bunny, and Pedro Capó.
The two singers have complementary vocal styles: Morrison’s is light and lilting, while Martin prefers a creamier, more forceful approach. Morrison kicks things off (“I have you, I confess/Every emotion, I understand it”), then Martin turns up the heat (“I got lost in your body/Every secret corner”). The beat stays unwaveringly skeletal as the vocal fireworks get increasingly ornate. The whole thing seems expertly designed for a performance at a future awards show, probably with a full choir — a cavernous space where onstage drama can heighten the emotion of the lyrics.
Until the release of Pausa, Martin had not put out a new album since 2015’s A Quien Quiera Escuchar, which went on to win the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. But he has continued to release singles roughly once a year. These are often collaborations: “Vente Pa’ Ca,” a billion-views global ear-worm featuring a cheerful appearance from Maluma, “Fiebre,” a pop-reggaeton cut featuring terse rapping from Wisin & Yandel, and “Cántalo,” a tribute to canonical salsa featuring both Residente and Bad Bunny.
In January, Martin released “Tiburones,” a stirring, dark guitar ballad inspired by the 2019 uprising in Puerto Rico. The track is still Top 20 on Latin radio.