The release of Latin hunk Ricky Martin's long-delayed third English-language album has been postponed again - amid reports his record label are unhappy with his music.

Last July (02), Martin announced his as-yet-unnamed CD would hit shops by October (02), but now a representative for the Puerto Rican hitmaker says, "It's loosely on the schedule for March 2004."

One insider tells American gossip site PAGESIX that poor sales on Martin's last English album, 2000's SOUND LOADED, mean bosses at Sony offshoot COLUMBIA are reluctant to put his new longplayer out.

Sound Loaded moved a disappointing 1.6 million copies, even though Sony spent an estimated $20 million (GBP13 million) promoting it.

A source says, "After Tommy Mottola was fired, (new Sony CEO) ANDY LACK went through the books to see who was selling and who wasn't.

"The brass at Columbia wasn't feeling some of the English songs he wrote on the new album. They told him they were going to hold off on that CD, but they needed something to put out to keep him topical."

As a result, they released his recent Spanish-language album, ALMAS DEL SILENCIO - which sold well.

But a Columbia spokeswoman denies the timing was a result of pressure from the label, adding, "It was definitely on the game plan to have two albums come out at the same time, but then Ricky decided he wanted to have the Spanish one first. He needed to go back to his people, back to his roots."

09/06/2003 17:29