Anyone who knows anything about Latin music knows Julieta Venegas. Over the years, she has become a force in the music industry with hit after hit. She has embraced a style of music that infuses pop music with rock and folk which is distinctly her own. This is where we begin, with her debut album, Aqui.
Not everyone is a fan of Julieta Venegas. I tend to be indifferent to her music. She doesn’t get on to my playlists often and not because I dislike her music. Like I said, indifferent. While on my recent road trip, I added a few songs from Julieta because I know my wife likes her. Every time she came upon the list, I enjoyed the music. It made me wonder, why I am so “meh” when it comes to her?
I decided to start from the beginning to see if I can figure it out and change my opinion of her music. Aqui came out around the time when Latin rock began to take a turn and incorporate more traditional sounds and instruments. Julieta Venegas’s signature accordion can be heard throughout the album. There is quite a bit of the traditional Latin and Mexican sounds through the music. You can hear the influences of bossa nova in many of the songs.
Julieta Venegas has made music accessible for the world and has opened doors for others behind her with the album, Aqui.
Take that style of music and incorporate the garage-style vocals of Venegas, and that is Aqui. I say “garage-style” because I don’t feel the easy flow of her lyrics like they are being sung. She comes off as she is lyrically speaking more than gracefully singing. It’s harsh and her vocals are in your face. She is coming at her music from an alt-rock standpoint and that can be as rough and raw as she wants it. I can appreciate the emotion she has for her song, which she writes herself.
Six songs in and I wanted to change my mind about the album. I am digging all the songs like I always say I do. That is until the second half of the album. It gets slow and boring. Even track eleven doesn’t even have music. It is an acapella version. The album ends on a downer when you get this incredible build to the middle. Maybe that is how it is supposed to be. Maybe Aqui is like a mountain. Uphill all the way till you get to the peak and then it is all downhill from there.
I don’t have to like everything I listen to and I don’t have to like everything on this website. This is why I talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. And what is not for me, could be the best album ever for someone else. Julieta Venegas won awards for this album and I can appreciate where she came from and what she has done to Latin pop-rock music. She has made music accessible for the world and has opened doors for others behind her.