Otra Cosa, the eagerly awaited fifth studio album by Julieta Venegas, is remarkably similar to her previous two, Sí (2003) and Limón y Sal (2006). The similarity is remarkable because both those albums were all-around excellent, loaded with Latin pop hits and first-rate album tracks. There wasn't a bad track on either album, and Otra Cosa is likewise rock-solid, starting off with three fantastic songs in a row, "Amores Platónicos," "Bien o Mal," and "Despedida." Moreover, all three albums are similar in style, produced by Cachorro López and comprised of upbeat pop songs with clever lyrics, rich melodies, and a range of instrumentation (guitar, piano, accordion, and beats, above all). Otra Cosa was eagerly awaited in part because of the four years since Limón y Sal. During that time, Venegas became one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Latin pop artists in the world.
At the height of her decade-long rise to fame, Julieta Venegas released her first live album, MTV Unplugged, a star-studded and meticulously arranged performance recorded before 450 adoring fans in Mexico City. She performs her greatest hits, of course, but she also adds to her set list relatively obscure songs – most delightfully "Esta Vez," a ballad from her debut album, Aquí (1998) – and several new songs, including the international chart-topping lead single, "El Presente." As with many MTV Unplugged albums, guest stars are featured throughout; most noteworthy among them here are Spanish rapper Mala Rodríguez, who performs in the place of Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux on "Eres Para Mí," and Brazilian superstar Marisa Monte, who duets in Portuguese on "Ilusión" (a new song written by Venegas, Monte, and Arnaldo Antunes). Guest star or not, the performances are each interesting in their arrangements, which are generally quite different from their studio original counterparts.
Bajofondo, formerly known as Bajofondo Tango Club, is an Argentine-Uruguayan tango fusion collective led by Grammy-winning producer Gustavo Santaolalla. In general, the collective fuses acoustic tango with electronic music, resulting in a contemporary style representative of the Rio de la Plata music scene in the 21st century. Led by Santaolalla (guitar, percussion, vocals), whose production credits include such luminous Latin acts as Juanes, Café Tacuba, and Julieta Venegas, Bajofondo is also comprised of Juan Campodónico (programming, beats, samples, guitar), Luciano Supervielle (piano, keyboards, scratching), Javier Casalla (violin), Martín Ferrés (bandoneon), Gabriel Casacuberta (upright bass, electric bass), Adrián Sosa (drums), and Verónica Loza (VJ, vocals). They made their full-length album debut in 2002 with Bajofondo Tango Club on Santaolalla's Universal Music-affiliated boutique label, Surco Records. Subsequent albums include Bajofondo Tango Club Presenta: Supervielle (2004), Remixed (2006), and Mar Dulce (2007), the latter featuring an all-star list of guest features (most notably Gustavo Cerati, Nelly Furtado, Mala Rodríguez, Juan Subirá [of Bersuit Vergarabat], Elvis Costello.). In addition to their album releases, Bajofondo also releases club-oriented 12" EPs and tours internationally.
A popular Peruvian rock group in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Traffic Sound had a very British-influenced early progressive rock sound along the lines of Traffic and (more distantly) Jethro Tull. These similarities were evident in the band's use of flute and saxes, all played by Jean Pierre Magnet, who could also play vibes and percussion. What is surprising is that Traffic Sound, unlike other South American groups of the period that only came to light in the Northern Hemisphere in the 1990s, do not sound exotic or primitive. They simply sound like an accomplished minor-league 1970 rock band with considerable progressive, psychedelic, and soul influences informing their original material.
"Although the Argentinean Gustavo Santaolalla has become famous in recent years for his film work, he is also one of the most important Latin music producers of the last two decades and has produced albums for Café Tacva, Juanes, Molotov, Dividido, and Julieta Venegas, among others. Now the musician makes a comeback as the brain behind Mar Dulce, the commendable second album from Bajofondo Tango Club. (Santaolalla is also a member of the group). As on its first album, this group mixes electronic music with tango, but this album is far from being a mere copy of its predecessor. –Ernesto Sánchez Customer Reviews on amazon.com "