September 2, 2013
Andrea Echeverri | Ruisenora
Ruisenora (Nightingale) is the third solo album by Andrea Echeverri Arias, best known for her work in the pioneering Colombian rock band Aterciopelados. There’s no drums or bass guitar here, so my immediate thought was a turn in the indie-rock, singer-songwriter direction. But Andrea surprises with how hard she rocks the acoustic guitar/percussion framework – in that way, and because of her multi-tracked harmonies, this set reminds me a lot of the punk-rock band X’s revelatory Unclogged album. Echeverri describes herself as the “mountains” to Aterciopelados partner Hector Buitrago’s “coast,” and she makes great use of Andean harmonies and some of that music’s characteristic instruments: flute, panpipes, marimba, accordion. The lyrics (all in Spanish) are far from traditional – they’re all about Latin America’s patriarchal culture and the role of women in the 21st century. If this sounds like a sophisticated, sui generis blend of interests and influences, that’s undoubtedly and precisely her intent. This is one of the most impressive albums I’ve heard this year, one that rewards frequent and detailed listening – a real breakthrough by a major artist.
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