Over the years, the Latin Pop genre has seen some iconic artists, such as Selena, Shakira, Thalía and many more. Among these legends, there’s Mexican singer, Belinda.
Even if you’ve never heard of her, at the peak of her career, she was known as “The Princess of Latin Pop,” a nickname some media outlets still use.
With four studio albums under her belt, Belinda consolidated herself as a serious artist, but none of her works hits home as hard as her 2003 self-titled album. Out of her four albums, it’s the strongest when it comes to songwriting and its ability to communicate emotions.
The album contains 13 tracks, and in 45 minutes, you can experience heartbreak, anger, happiness and falling in love. Accompanied by Belinda’s vocal range, these tracks feel like the perfect soundtrack for life. This album’s strength lies in its versatility and its ability to evoke mainstream pop rhythms to lyrics that are poetry.
Take one of her singles, “Boba Niña Nice,” which roughly translates to “Silly Nice Girl.” It’s all about petty teenage jealousy, which, unfortunately, is too relatable. Its catchy tune and broken melodies make you feel like Belinda speaks to you just before the beat drops.
But this song shares an album with “No Entiendo” (I don’t understand), one of the most criminally underrated ballads in the entirety of this genre. Belinda’s starts this one by softly singing in a whisper-like tone, and immediately, we get this songwriting gem:
The illusion leaves me
Like the air when I breathe
I’ve already lost your love
Like a dream when I wake up
I mean, this is one of the best opening lyrics I know. Even if it looks a bit clunky when translated, you can’t take away the poetic writing from it. The entire song feels like a dreamy, siren song that makes you feel as though you’re heartbroken. It’s enchantingly beautiful, especially because we get to see the totality of her vocal range, unlike in any song before this one.
And while “No Entiendo” breaks your heart, “Princesa” is the fairytale love story you read about during your childhood. I’ve never been in love, but I’m sure it feels like this song. While her lyrics are not as elaborate, she still paints the perfect fairy tale when she sings:
In my enchanted forest
There is only one prince charming
And I think it’s you
And if something is still missing
There is magic left to do
But Belinda doesn’t just sing about love and heartbreak. She also sings of wanting to find herself in “Be Free” — which is one of the most beautiful tracks on this album — and wanting to live life her way in “Vivir.” It creates a very balanced tracklist, with a song for every situation.
While the album includes many ballads, whether sad or not, she also has some pop-rock sounds, namely in “Lo Siento” and “¿Dónde Iré Yo?”. In all honesty, think Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” but make it 2000s and in Spanish. These don’t have as elaborate lyrics, but she still manages to pull it off.
I genuinely love Belinda because this album has a little bit of everything: ballads with powerful lyricism, heartbreak, love and a bit of teenage angst mixed in with the desire to be genuinely yourself.
When I say it’s underrated, I don’t mean to say that this album wasn’t successful. I mean, I had a Belinda doll that sang “Boba Niña Nice” — marketers don’t do that for just anyone — but it feels as though this album didn’t stand the test of time. People nowadays don’t necessarily remember it, nor know about it, and that’s a shame.
To me, Belinda is a collection of wholesome childhood memories. As I’ve grown up, it’s felt like bits and pieces of life, all assembled into a lovely collection. If you have the chance, even if you don’t understand Spanish, I recommend you give it a listen.