At the time of her murder last March, Tejano thrush Selena was recording her first English-language album, and the only four finished tracks surface on Dreaming of You, one of the quickest posthumous albums ever cobbled together. Would she have been heard on your local Top 40 station? Probably, but at a price. Selena had a sob-in-the-throat voice that would have spoken to lovesick teenagers everywhere, but her non-Hispanic producers and songwriters saddled her with greeting-card sentiments and Abdul-lite melodies, exorcising any ethnic flavor.
The true, unbridled Selena is heard on the old hits, remixes, and soundtrack songs that fill out the rest of the album. Whether belting out traditional ballads or tropical fantasies, Selena evokes lust and passion, both absent from her English recordings. And ”God’s Child (Baila Conmigo),” a playful, galloping duet with David Byrne, hints at what the right producer — and fewer commercial concerns — could have done for Selena’s sadly never-to-be-realized crossover dreams. B