Sunday, March 25, 2007

Merengue: Juan Luis Guerra - La Llave De Mi Corazon


When Juan Luis Guerra sings, the world listens. Ever since Bachata Rosa gave him global fame, everything he touches turns in to gold. Grammy nominations and critical acclaim have been piling up, even for his evangelically inspired 2004 album Para Ti. And with reason, to me his music has always represented joy, sun and energy.

With La Llave De Mi Corazón, Guerra throws himself onto the Anglo music market. Spanglish is ubiquitous throughout the record, two tracks are even entirely in English (he has to work on his accent though). And -thank God- I didn't hear any religiously influenced lyrics, Juan Luís goes back to singing about the best subject of all: love.

Love songs equal ballads, and that's mostly what you'll hear on this album: bachata and bolero-influenced baladas.

Si tú no bailas conmigo, prefiero no bailar
(If you don't dance with me, I'd rather not dance)
seems to be the philosophy behind the album: the merengue that made him famous serves to express his joy over love, as in title track, first single and damn groovy dance track "La Llave De Mi Corazón" (and the English version "Medicine For My Soul"). Also check out "Como Yo".
The baladas are more like a window into his soul, as in the hopelessly romantic "Que Me Des Tu Cariño". And "Cancioncita de Amor" combines the best of both: starting out quietly and sensitive, but ending in joyful trumpet chaos.

I definitely prefer the upbeat songs to the slower ones, but then again, seldom have I enjoyed ballads this much. Overall, I think the album suffers a bit from too much tempo changes. However, that won't keep me from putting it on "endless repeat" for some time ;)

PS: iTunes link coming soon, you can click the ad on your right in the meantime, if you want to buy the album. Be sure to take a look at the 'retro' video for "La Llave de Mi Corazón", just click on 'Show Videos...' below.

Juan Luís Guerra - La Llave de Mi Corazón
mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon
Juan Luís Guerra - Cancioncita de Amor
mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Broertje.. de link van 'Cancioncinta de Amor' werkt ni..

kus Do

Elizabeth U. said...

yo! love the songs, thanks for this post. after seeing the "llave" video the song got stuck in my head for days!

Miriam said...

iTunes has a remix of "La Llave De Mi Corazon" but you have to buy the whole album to get it. I am trying to decide between getting the album on iTunes with the remix, DRM and inconvenience of burning the cd myself vs. getting a "real" cd without the remix. I haven't heard the remix except for 30 seconds on iTunes and I haven't seen if the CD has lyrics or anything inside. iTunes would be cheeper and instant. Advice anyone?

Chapín said...

Hi miriam,

I'm a big fan of iTunes (mostly because I have an mp3 player so burning CDs isn't necesarry for me, actually buying a CD is more of a hassle than dowloading it). But the remix is nothing compared to the original..

Chapín said...

Hi miriam,

I'm a big fan of iTunes (mostly because I have an mp3 player so burning CDs isn't necesarry for me, actually buying a CD is more of a hassle than dowloading it). But the remix is nothing compared to the original..

Miriam said...

Thanks Chapín,

I use an mp3 player too but I like to burn hard copies as backup in case my computer dies or something. I ended up getting the CD in a music store because I had a gift certificate to use there. It does come with an insert with photos and the lyrics to all the songs. (The lyrics are all online too but it's nice to not have to print them out...)