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Juanes - Mi Sangre

Juanes, Mi Sangre

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

WITH his smouldering South American good looks and his passionate singing style, Juanes has rapidly emerged as one of the most potent and important forces in world music.

Quincy Jones cites him as ‘one of the most influential people in the world today’, while he has won a total of 12 Latino Grammys during the course of his excellent career.

A phenomenon in South America, the Juanes success story looks set to continue around the world – his arrival in the UK has already been greeted rapturously given that he sold out the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in under an hour in March.

Now comes the album, Mi Sangre, a rousing showcase for the singer-songwriter’s undoubted talent.

Steeped in South American passion and delivered with equal amounts gusto and sensitivity, the album is a tour-de-force that really ought not to be missed by anyone who likes to keep their eye on something different.

I have long been a sucker for Mariachi style guitars (think Antonio Banderas in Desperado, whom Juanes very much resembles) and they’re here in abundance, along with some smart electric riffs (all delivered by Juanes himself).

The album kicks off in supremely upbeat style with Amame, an upbeat concoction of sultry vocals and chirpy riffs and beats that are effortlessly capable of appealing to the willing mainstream ear (despite being delivered in Colombian).

It then proceeds to deliver 17 tracks that continue to please in all shapes and forms.

Highlights include the current single, La Camisa Negra, a supremely slick acoustic ballad that’s about mourning the end of a relationship. The black shirt of the title is designed as a sign of mourning or bad feelings but despite the sentiment, there’s no sense of melancholy in the rolling guitar licks that provide a wonderful accompaniment.

Strong, too, is the sensitive No Siento Penas, a beautifully constructed ballad that comes complete with strings and some excellent melodies.

More deliberately upbeat and rock-driven is Lo Que Me Gusta A Mi which contains some nice background organ and a catchy style.

While Tu Guardian is a warm, shimmering guitar-driven ballad that contains some really uplifting riffs. The guitars perfectly compliment Juanes’ strong vocals, as do the epic strings late on.

Given that Mi Sangre marks Juanes first UK release proper, it also comes with some bonus tracks which provide some of the very best moments.

Fotografía, his duet with Nelly Furtado, is actually to be found on 2000’s Un Día Normal album and thrives on the vocal chemistry between Juanes and Nelly, while La Paga includes a nice rap from Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas – just to prove that Juanes really has his eye on the mainstream scene.

Once again, the contrasting styles work well with each other and provide an effortlessly pleasing and downright funky record.

A Dios Le Pido is another gem, featuring more of those delicious rolling guitar licks and some excellent backing vocals that scream out Mariachi passion, while current single La Camisa Negra benefits from a hip Full Phatt remix that’s sure to have everyone thirsting for more.

Believe the hype. Juanes is turning heads wherever he travels and can count Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones as huge fans. You just might be too once you’ve heard this excellent album.

Track listing:

  1. Amame
  2. Para Tu Amor
  3. Suenos
  4. La Camisa Negra
  5. Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor
  6. No Siento Penas
  7. Damelo
  8. Lo Que Me Gusta A Mi
  9. Rosario Tijeras
  10. Que Pasa
  11. Volverte A Ver
  12. Tu Guardian
  13. A Dios Le Pido
  14. Es Por Ti
  15. Fotografia feat Nelly Furtado
  16. La Paga feat. Taboo from Black Eyed Peas
  17. La Camisa Negra (Full Phatt remix)

  1. To mention Mariachis in the context of Juanes’s music misses the point altogether. I don’t really understand how a resembelance could be perceived between Juanes and Antonio Banderas – it’s equivalent to saying all people of a particular ethnicity look/sound the same.

    Tob    Apr 27    #
  2. I think Tob’s attack on Jack is a little unwarranted given that he’s clearly recommending this album to his readers. I bought it based on the review and join Paul and Quincy in counting him as a new musical friend. Thanks you!

    Jane    Apr 28    #
  3. Definitely the better tracks are the ones from Un Dia Normal. By the way I think that you will find that the language of Colombia is Spanish….time for us Brits to get an education and learn another language. Juanes, si necesitas una traductora mientras estes en UK, llamame.

    Liz Herrera    Apr 28    #
  4. This CD is superb, I’ve been recommending it to anyone who’d listen. Great review Jack. Oh, and he does look like Antonio Banderas esp on the Mi Sangre cover and he does remind me of the Desperado character. I think it was also worth mentioning!

    Lana    May 16    #