ALBUM REVIEW: Alejandra Guzman – Bye Mama (1988)
My life is filled with stories…32 years of stories that surround Latin pop and rock and trust me, I have enough stories of Alejandra Guzman to fill up this entire blog. But we are going to stick to the album Bye Mama for now. The album was out for a while, but I didn’t know much about Alejandra until May of 1988, when the pop talent from Melody Records performed a concert in Los Angeles for Mother’s Day. Some people at Fonovisa Los Angeles had invited me to go. I went because I wanted to see Sasha Sokol.
There was a press conference set up in a hotel room and everyone was waiting for their turn to do interviews. I stood off to the side and watched as Sasha get her interview. I was taking pictures and everything. As I put down my camera to admire Sasha’s beauty, a short little thing stood next to me and said, “Hola, Soy Alejandra.”
The first thing I did back then immediately told people I didn’t speak Spanish. She began talking to me in English and introduced herself again. Her spunk and personality took my attention off of Sasha and onto her. I am an honest person and told her I had no clue who she was but she told me, “Don’t worry, you will. Just watch and pay attention.” Even then, with one album out, Alejandra knew she would be someone.
After the concert, I went out and purchased her album and loved it. Maybe I was biased, but that girl that I spent the weekend with (hanging out), I fell in love with and hard. So this album has such a deep hold on my memories and means so much to me. On one of her next visits to Los Angeles, I got the album autographed. Okay, now for what the album actually sounds like.
With a combination of traditional pop sounds, Alejandra adds an edge to it making her fall in between rock and pop. The album begins with an updated version of the song, “La Plaga”, which her teen-pop idol father, Enrique Guzman recorded. This became her theme song until her third album, when people forgot about that and moved on to another great song of hers. The album flows like a classic 80s pop album, 10 songs. Side 1 features two fast songs, a ballad, then two more fast songs. The second side mimics that. I prefer the second side more than the first, with the last two songs on the album being my favorites. “En El Calor De La Noche” and “La Gata En La Tejada” are both underrated songs that got no love on promotional appearances.
The title track, “Bye Mama” got the most attention as the song shadowed her real life and talked about how her mother was never around while she grew up and it was her time to leave and go out on her own. Alejandra’s mother is an actress, Silvia Pinal, who was there for Alejandra’s debut performance. Obviously, they worked out their issues. The album is a great debut album and honestly, a perfect place for you to start if just getting into her career. The slow songs are powerful, the pop hits are fresh, and the rock is straight-up rock-and-roll. Just remember, it is a little dated.
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