Well here’s something I’ve haven’t dived into before. Paulina Rubio is one of many Latin artists that I’ve never truly sat down, or got on my feet, and listened to their music. As far as my Spanish interest goes, I stayed glued to Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Selena. I think it was over ten years ago where I first glimpsed lady Rubio performing at the Grammy Awards that I became aware of the fact that there were other Latin artists deserving of my attention. Sadly, I didn’t follow her up because I thought she reminded me a little of Shakira’s style, and I felt strongly bonded to latter. But today, Paulina has won me over and I now realize there is a great difference between their sound.
The exotic diva has released her 10th studio album, “Brava!” which is also her second bilingual album since her debut. I haven’t gotten through the entire record as yet simply because I want to save my first impression for this review. However, it’s the lead single and track number one that has me bubbling.
“Me Gustas Tanto,” which means ‘I like you’, is a great start to what’s described as a mixture of pop, dance, and electro elements fused into Rubio’s Latin roots. Acclaimed producer, RedOne, produced the lead track and this is evident in the melodic synths, heavy beats, and europop influence often heard in his work. The song’s about conveying your true feelings to the one you love. It’s difficult for her to express herself in words but she’s definitely captivated by this guy.
The first English track is also another RedOne production. “All Around the World” is about having fun and enjoying yourself no matter where you are. Something I’ve noticed already is that there isn’t any auto-tune depicted in these dance numbers so far, which is kind of odd for a RedOne song. I’m just saying. There’s nothing pulling anything out of me on this track but it’s still the kind of song you pump your fist to on the dance floor.
“Cásate con tu Mamá” has reggae, rock, and pop mixed together to create a really hot and soulful beat. I take it she got inspiration while recording in between Jamaica, Madrid, New York, and Los Angeles. Interestingly enough, the song is about a man with the Oedipus Complex Syndrome, hence, the name “Marry your Mama.” I love the passion in her voice. You can almost feel the intensity in what she’s singing about. Hopefully this will be a single because there is something rather intriguing about it.
I love how electrically charged “Olvídate de Mí” is. The song fuses hard rock with Latin attributes and it comes out so impressively. It’s about a love that’s ending. I’ve interpreted that much from the line “Forget about me, my vows of love, forget the sun shining in my eyes for you, forget that the moon without me now I dyed gray.” The key point of the track is the guitar solo, the piano break, and the echoing chorus in the background. I like how natural Paulina’s voice is without any alterations. The songs so far are sounding so organic.
“Sabes Que te Amo,” which translates to “You know I Love You,” starts out with such a warm and soothing piano melody then divulges into a more fast pace rock beat. The song’s about being in love and wanting the other to understand your heart. She sings very emotionally on the track even though it has an up-tempo beat. This sounds like the soundtrack for a kdrama, or maybe I’m just too into those things. Regardless, it’s a beautiful song from start to finish; particularly, the ending is where most of the sensuality lies. This is my favorite so far.
“Hoy Me Toca a Mí” didn’t appeal to me as much as the previous tracks but it’s still very much entertaining to listen to. The song lyrics emphasize a lot on the title, which means “Today is My Turn, or Today I Play.” However you translate it, the song’s still about ending the relationship with a guy who’s always out partying with other chicks. Taboo gives us the male perspective that he’s only having fun and she’s being too jealous. It’s a fun track that doesn’t bring any deep meaning in my opinion.
The second English track, “Heat of the Night,” which is also produced by RedOne, is incomparably better than the first one. The beat has similarities to J.Lo’s “On the Floor” but who cares when the song’s this hot. Paulina’s voice sounds really seductive and flows right with the hypnotic beat. The song’s about dancing the night away in a sense; it’s about letting go and enjoying the moment with your partner.
“Me Voy” slows us down and re-introduces the rock vibe, this time along with some electro and acoustic elements. The song’s about leaving everything behind and starting a new life. The relationship has gone sour and she’s throwing in the towel. You can tell how serious she is about her decision by the way she conveys her words. I love how urban the beat is and how bittersweet her harmonies are. This is my second favorite track.
“Que Estuvieras Aquí” is reportedly a dedication to Paulina’s late father. The song, which translates to “I Wish You Were Here,” is Rubio’s way of saying she’s missing her father and how she wishes he was there with her. The violin sounds rather melancholy, blending in with the sorrowful essence of the track. The song’s very subtle but dramatic, providing a more mellow vibe. It’s such a beautiful yet sad number, and the lyrics are filled with these pure emotions from a daughter coping with the fact that she has lost her father.
The album concludes rather quickly with the track “Volvamos a Empezar.”Paulina almost sounds like Selena on this one. I like how non-instrumental the song starts off, with the exception of an electric guitar. It gets even more aggressive when the rest of the song kicks in. This is definitely on the rock side and is the more edgier track on the album, but that’s what makes it so appealing and perfect to end a show. The song’s about going “back to the start,” finding one’s self, and working things out. I like how empowering the track sounds, and there’s no denying this woman is still pretty much confident in her music.
So, now that I’m at the end, how do I feel about the album? Well, in terms of lyrical content and musical arrangement, it’s really wonderful. The album features party tracks for the clubs, songs about love, pain, and growth. I like how entertaining Paulina made it; I was always anticipating the next track because of how interesting the previous was. My only disappointment is how short the album is. I mean, 10 songs and 2 remixes are not really enough. However, it was a great effort nonetheless. This is definitely a change from all the foolishness out now. “Brava!” gets a rating of 4.8/5
Track listing:01. Me Gustas Tanto 02. All Around The World 03. Cásate Con Tu Mamá 04. Olvídate de Mi 05. Sabes Que Te Amo 06. Hoy Me Toca a Mi (feat. Taboo) 07. Heat of the Night 08. Me Voy 09. Que Estuvieras Aquí 10. Volvamos a Empezar 11. Me Gustas Tanto (feat. Franco _El Gorila_) [Urban Dance Remix] 12. Me Gustas Tanto (Vein Electro-Hop Remix)
(Purchase this album now on iTunes)
Images courtesy of paulinarubio.com
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