Natalie Cole en Español

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Natalie Cole en Español
Natalie Cole en Espanol.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 25, 2013 (2013-06-25)
GenreLatin pop
ProducerRudy Pérez
Natalie Cole chronology
Caroling, Caroling: Christmas with Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole en Español

Natalie Cole en Español is the twenty-third and final studio album by Natalie Cole, released on June 25, 2013 through Verve Records.[1] Produced by the Cuban American composer Rudy Pérez, it is her first and only Spanish album and her first record released following her kidney transplant in 2009.[2] The album is a follow-up to her third Christmas album Caroling, Caroling: Christmas with Natalie Cole. Natalie Cole en Español consists of twelve tracks, which are cover versions of Spanish standards. The album features duets with Juan Luis Guerra, Chris Botti, Arthur Hanlon, Andrea Bocelli and a posthumous duet with her father Nat King Cole.


One of the really cool things that Rudy said to me was, 'I'm not looking for you to become Spanish or Latin. I need you to still be Natalie Cole.'

—Cole talking to Los Angeles Times about the recording process for the album[2]

Cole had expressed interest in recording a Spanish album for nearly a decade but her label Capitol rejected her pitch and told her "the timing wasn't right". David Foster, with whom she had previously worked with on Unforgettable... with Love (1991), encouraged to attempt to record the album again.[3] Cole cited Salvadoran nurse Esther as one of the primary influences for the recording of the album. Cole received a kidney transplant from Esther's niece in 2009 and referred to her connection with the nurse as causing her to be "drawn even more to Latin people, Latin programs".[2] She added her connection to the Salvadoran family led her to "feel like [she's] part Latino now" and "(made) the desire to make this record become even stronger".[3]

Weary of comparisons to her father's 1958 Spanish album Cole Español, Cole described her album as "not [being] a tribute to my father as much as it is a tribute to Latin music because of my father".[3] During the recording of the album, Pérez served as Cole's language coach.[4] Cole said "Black people and Hispanic people have the same kind of feel for passion, for music, for fun, for heart." She expressed a love for language by listing "I love French ... I love Portuguese, I love Italiano[,]" but emphasized that "for [her] right now is Español".[5]

In the recording sessions, Pérez translated the lyrics into English to allow Cole to capture the emotions of the songs. Cole recalled on the first days of recording that she cried as "the translation of these Spanish lyrics is like poetry." When listening to the album, she found that "[she] liked [her]self singing in Spanish". She compared the recording process to that of Unforgettable... with Love as it allowed her to step out of her comfort zone to create what she viewed as art.[6]


Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[7]

Natalie Cole en Español received generally favorable reviews from music critics. Andy Kellman of AllMusic described the album as not being "a mere throwback to a brief phase in Nat's career". Kellman called it "a likable diversion from her norm" and commended her for using zest to make up for her lack of fluency.[7] JazzTimes' Christopher Loudon commended Cole's "deeper emotional connection to the lyrics" in comparison to her father's Spanish albums. Loudon praised the album as "all slickly grand-scale, yet it works satisfyingly well".[8] Soultracks' Justin Kantor wrote that the album is "a polished set largely comprised of baladas romanticas with sweeping orchestration and spicy, yet decidedly controlled, vocal performances". Kantor found certain songs required "a tad more rhythmic creativity and free-spirited singing", but recommended the overall product to her fans.[9]

Track listing[edit]

1."Frenesí"Alberto Borras Domínguez3:24
2."Voy A Apagar La Luz / Contigo Aprendí (Medley)"Armando Manzanero4:06
3.""Acércate Más (Come Closer to Me)"" (featuring Nat King Cole)Osvaldo Farrés2:46
4."Mañana De Carnaval"Luiz Bonfá, Antônio Maria3:08
5."Bésame Mucho" (featuring Andrea Bocelli)Consuelo Velázquez4:02
6."Quizás, Quizás, Quizás"Osvaldo Farrés2:27
7."Solamente Una Vez"Agustín Lara2:30
8."Oye Como Va (Medley)" (featuring Arthur Hanlon)Tito Puente, Bobby Collazo, Pablo Beltrán Ruiz, Rudy Pérez, David E. Brown, José Areas, Jose Rico Reyes4:59
9."Yo Lo Amo (And I Love Him)" (featuring Chris Botti)Lennon/McCartney4:25
10."El Día Que Me Quieras"Carlos Gardel, Alfredo Le Pera4:28
11."Bachata Rosa" (featuring Juan Luis Guerra)Juan Luis Guerra4:02
12."Amapola"Joseph Maria Lacalle3:20
Total length:43:55

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Natalie Cole en Español by Natalie Cole". iTunes. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, Reed (August 12, 2013). "A reunion decades in the making for Natalie Cole, Chucho Valdés". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Cobo, Leila (January 1, 2016). "A Look Back at Natalie Cole's Final Album, 'Natalie Cole En Español'". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  4. ^ Reed, James (August 1, 2013). "Natalie Cole Cuts Spanish Album". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "Natalie Cole En Español: Singer Releases Debut Spanish Album". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "'Natalie Cole En Español'". YouTube. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Andy Kellman (June 25, 2013). "Natalie Cole En Español Review". AllMusic. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Christopher Loudon (October 24, 2013). "Natalie Cole: Cole En Español Review". JazzTimes. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Justin Kantor (2013). "Natalie Cole En Español Review". Soultracks. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Top Stranih [Top Foreign]" (in Croatian). Top Foreign Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  13. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Top Jazz Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  14. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Latin Pop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Top Latin Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  16. ^ "Polish album certifications" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 28, 2013.