2012 CD reviews

24 Mar

These are the 2012 CDs I have purchased so far. The only two missing are Kelly Clarkson and Cafe Tacuba which I really don’t fell like spending my money on.

Ana Tijoux- La Bala

What’s better than Ana Tijoux’s “La Bala”? Seeing her live in concert. this woman can rap and sing very very well. I would love to see her backed up with a full symphonic orchestra. I think I would pee my pants. I’ve never been so intrigued by rap/hip hop than with this CD. Its quite simply beautiful. Tijoux puts all of the rappers on the radio to shame. She does the technicolor Harlem inspired hip hop so well. Its hip hop, but its different.  Do yourself a favor and get this thought provoking, beat ridden, orchestral packed, jazz influenced, rap infused CD. You will never think of rap/hip hop the same way again. Quick recap: “La Bala” is an extended metaphor for people ready to act on a social cause. “Desclasificado” crescendo at 2:17 is just WOW. “Sacar La Voz” orchestral- string quartet elements and a Julieta Venegas’ – ish chorus. Its hauntingly beautiful

Grade: A+ the to OCSA student that grew up in Santa Ana, but whose parents took her to music lessons when she turned three and still goes to social protests.

Quetzal – Imaginaries

Polyrhythms, son jarocho with a violin, smooth vocals, cumbia, salsa, a love song, and socially conscious lyrics make up this Grammy winning CD spearheaded by East LA power couple, Quetzal and Martha Flores. it truly takes someone with an open mind to appreciate this CD. Its NOT a typical son jarocho, or a cumbia or a world music category CD. Quetzal is an academically and intellectually powered band. If I were to try to sit here and explain Quetzal and this CD I would write a 10 page paper so just support these Chican@s and buy their CD.

Grade: A+ to the overachieving GATE students of the class who went to UCLA for their Masters, but are still poor

Carla Morrison – Dejenme Llorar

“Apague Mi Mente” is a hauntingly beautiful opening track with a crescendo that works so well. I should incorporate crescendos with my music students more often. All the instruments just work so well with Morrison’s light, thin, airy and sentimental voice.

Her style is minimalistic with melodic “soft” instruments that range from violins, ukuleles, xylophones, and flutes in different parts of the CD. Sometimes its just Morrison with her electric guitar and small ornaments. Her lyrics are painfully honest and direct with what I consider the Jose Afredo Jimenez and Juan Gabriel model: they are not afraid to admit that they are wrong, in love and say what they truly feel in a 3 minute song.  My favorite song: “Hasta la Piel” with its obvious mariachi influence on behalf of the guitarrón.  My only problem with Carla Morrison: Her voice isn’t great and her songs are SO mellow! But she uses her voice so well AND uses tons of instruments to her advantage

Grade: A- to the introvert who is very in love

Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart

The spunky Marina is back with an even spunkier CD. Almost all of her songs are upbeat and extremely catchy with phenomenal arrangements. I like this CD better than her previous work. Marina’s forte however is her lyrics. Like CD#1 shes not afraid to say she isn’t perfect and in fact society is all messed up in the head. I mean she writes a song called “How to be a Heartbreaker” “Sex Yeah”  “Homewrecker” that are incredibly catchy. I’m sure that her goal is to trick people into thinking that this CD is a typical bubblegum pop/electronic/techno/ female version of Justin Beiber. Ha were they wrong!

Grade: A  to the student who you would least expect to be talented based on looks and the way she speaks

Natalia Lafourcade- Homenaje a Agustin Lara

What an amazing CD! I have earned a new  level of respect for Natalia. Every CD she comes up with is a work of art. Each one of these should be Grammy winners. I’m so pleasantly amused with this CD in so many ways. How did she land all those duets with so many guys (that ‘ho!), sound like an angel, re-arrange all the songs, produce the CD, and probably play all those instruments as well? I hate her. OK So I love her. She’s my hero for landing a duet with Miguel Bose. Bitch.

Grade: A+ to the musical nerd with the introverted personality

Gaby Moreno- Postales

Talented! What a great song writer! The mood of this  CD reminds me of a Ximena Sariñana’s first CD. However, I didn’t find it as memorable as any other CDs. Its a very mellow mood without truly catchy melodies. I’m a huge melodic fan AKA I’m a pop/catchy chorus fan. The only exception is the first song in the CD “No Estoy Tan Mal.” Maybe this isn’t my cup of tea? I mean shes obviously very talented, buts its so mellow…

Grade B to the “Daria” of the class

P!nk- The Truth About Love

Spunky spunky spunky! Back in the late 90’s with the explosion of wanna be Britney Spears characters like Christina Aguilera, and more : P!nk is the only soloist who struck a “real” chord with many. Almost 15 years later, she is that and much much more. P!nk ‘s latest CD is basically the pop/rock version of Jenni Rivera’s mid-career CDs. Its bold, unapologetic, sentimental, and hey if guys can drink and sleep around, why can’t women? With songs titled “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),”  “Slut Like You,” and “Walk of Shame” there is no denying what message P!nk is trying to place across the table. Her power (distortion guitar driven) pop songs are still there, but now she is adding different elements like marching band style bells/xylophone and much more melodic song elements.

Grade A- to the girl that sleeps around with a bunch of guys and is still down to earth. Basically the marching band  girls.

Chetes- Cardio Sapien

Oh Chetes! You actually disappointed me with this CD. Its IS the first time I have said that about Chetes in his musical career. His CD was produced by the guys from Plastilina Mosh… not a fan of them! (maybe a song or two). Its so basic and electronic for Chetes. He is known for being creative, different, layering a lot of instruments to create an amazing mini-orchestral piece just like the Beach Boys. “Cardio Sapien?” meh.

Grade: C To that one kid you know is a genius, but this isn’t his best work.

Leon Larregui – Solstis

The singer from Zoé’s solo CD. Incredibly mellow and different. Very unique lyrics. But honestly, not my cup of tea. I really couldn’t get through it.

Grade: N/A I’m giving this one to Rocio to grade. I don’t get this kid all by himself.

Miguel Bose – Papitwo

Ah Miguel Bose doing a sequel to his critically acclaimed CD “Papito” (duet remakes of his personal favorite hits with currently popular aritsts). He landed a mostly male cast for this CD. His first two songs are “Linda” with Malú and “Aire” with Ximena Sariñana which are incredible catchy, passionate, and intense. The rest of the CD features an eclectic male cast. Juan Luis Guerra (yawn!), Penelope Cruz (seriously?!), Juanes, Jovanotti, Joaquin Sabina (yay for some trova rep), Tzianno Ferro (Bose’s rumored lover), Aleks Syntek, his niece Bimba , and Alejandro Sanz.  I didn’t find the songs as memorable as the previous CD. However the duets are carefully crafted to met Bose’s style. The only exception is Juan Luis Guerra. He really shouldn’t sing ballads and should stick to his genre.

Grade: B To the obviously sexually confused kid in class that can swoon the ladies and the gentelman, is down to earth AND doesn’t give you the perverted vibe.

Bebe- Un Pokito de Rocanrol

I always said that Bebe’s Cd’s were poetry with background music. CD#1 “Malo” may be the exception. This CD is filled with Bebe’s poetry, but also some highly energetic music that had been missing in her last 2 poetry CD’s. Bebe is always solid in all of her work.

Grade: A- To the Spanish major

EOY- Alibabu

The first 3 songs are great! They are still rockin’ out after their 25 year career. They still have their Nirvana/Pixie power chord rock influence. “Solo Fui Yo” is melodic and their “sho” for saying “yo” is just awesome. However, the rest of the CD is meh! Nothing too memorable. Much worse is that some of the songs sound like rip-offs of their own songs. No bueno for EOY!

Grade C+ To that one kid that always sat in the back with all his Nirvana shirts, long hair and walked around with a guitar in his hand. C’Mon!

🙂  🙂  🙂


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