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Natalia Lafourcade — Hasta la Raíz [Edición Especial] (March 17, 2015)

Natalia Lafourcade — Hasta la Raíz [Edición Especial] (March 17, 2015)

 Natalia Lafourcade Hasta la Raíz [Edición Especial] (Mar 17, 2015) Natalia Lafourcade — Hasta la Raíz [Edición Especial] (March 17, 2015)
♠   Šesté album Natalie Lafourcade — “Hasta la Raíz”,  je erupcí kouzla a hlubokého citu, melodií a textů, co ještě dlouho přetrvávají v mysli. Album už teď získalo platinu, je nominováno na Latinskou Grammy jako album roku a navíc má pět dalších nominací. One of my favorite albums to listen to while traveling... Or staying home. Can’t get it out of head.
♠   ‘It was so amazing, how the process can heal you in a way. Once I finished the album I even cut my hair, because I was having this sensation of “OK, it’s over.” I finished a cycle in my life.’
Born: February 26, 1984 in Veracruz, Distrito Federal, Mexico City, Mexico
Genre: Latin Pop
Location: Mexico
Album release: March 17, 2015
Record Label: RCA Records
Duration:     72:48
01. Hasta la Raíz     3:42
02. Mi Lugar Favorito     4:57
03. Antes de Huir     3:52
04. Ya No Te Puedo Querer     4:47
05. Para Qué Sufrir     3:47
06. Nunca Es Suficiente     3:57
07. Palomas Blancas     4:37
08. Te Quiero Ver     3:27
09. Vámonos Negrito     4:34
10. Lo Que Construimos     4:39
11. Estoy Lista     4:42
12. No Más Llorar     5:35
13. Partir de Mí     3:48
14. Duele     3:35
15. Me Voy de Casa     4:04
16. Lo Que Construimos (Versión Reggae)     5:06
17. Hasta la Raíz (Canova’s Root Version)     3:39
℗ 2015 Sony Music Entertainment México, S.A. de C.V.
The Work of Masterful Genius.
By Amazon Customer on November 15, 2015;  Score: *****
♠   I’ve been a fan of the beautiful Natalia Lafourcade for years and have almost all of her CDs (“Natalia Lafourcade” her impressive first CD, “Casa” a great rock album in any language, “Hu Hu Hu” she’s growing and experimenting, “Mujer Divina” a respectful tribute to Agustin Lara and now “Hasta la Raiz”). There’s no such thing as a “bad” Natalia CD but I have to say that “Hasta la Raiz” is absolutely a work of musical and lyrical genius. I won’t go over every song but I can assure you that no two sound alike. This CD is so varied that even the second track, “Mi Lugar Favorito”, sounds like one song in the beginning and something totally different by the end. She has a way of layering songs that you don’t really notice until she’s delivered you to a foot tapping, singing along state of bliss.
♠   These days so many artists/producers turn up everything to full volume that any sense of nuance is completely lost. That's not the case here as the production is top notch. After the first few listens, you might still pick up on things that you may have missed before; a little acoustic guitar here, a quiet horn there, sublime, perfect. The arc of maturity of her voice and music also cannot be dismissed. Starting from the playful, almost childlike, vocals and pop sound on her first CD release, “Natalia Lafourcade”, to the now fully grown woman on “Hasta la Raiz". You will find yourself singing along regardless of how much Spanish you may, or may not, know. Please Natalia, take your time releasing your next CD because you are totally worth the wait.
♠   One note of concern. I noticed that one way this is being sold on Amazon is by way of CD–R. Personally, I prefer original packaging as that is the best way to be sure that the artist is getting her/his due and also I like having the “hard” copy. I did not purchase my “official release” from Amazon.
♠   Natalia Lafoucade’s sixth album, Hasta la Raíz, casts a spell with deep feeling, and melodies and lyrics that linger in the mind. Elegantly adorned with subtle strings and velvety production, it has the kind of warmth people are always saying they can hear on old vinyl records. Released in March of this year (and in September in the U.S.), the passage of time may well prove it to be the Mexican singer–songwriter’s most profound and enduring statement. For now, the single and title track “Hasta la Raiz” remains ubiquitous on Mexican radio, while the album itself has gone platinum and is up for a Latin Grammy for album of the year, among five other nominations connected to the release.
♠   Over the phone from San Francisco, a few hours before her date at Social Hall, Lafourcade speaks with an air of satisfaction at the way it has been received: “Whenever you release an album you don’t know if the people are going to like it or not. So, it feels great when you see the way they can connect with the songs and lyrics. They feel the music as if it was theirs.” Her happiness is hard–earned. This unmitigated triumph follows a long period of difficulty.
♠   Hasta la Raíz is her first album of original material in seven years, since 2009’s Hu Hu Hu. Before she began work on the album she had gone through a break–up and had been experiencing a songwriting block for some time. She was in a rut. Every song she started sounded to her like something she had done before. To try to end the block she began working with the music of Mexico’s revered singer and songwriter Agustín Lara, eventually recording Mujer Divina, a tribute album to the late singer, and bringing together songwriters like Devendra Banhart and Jorge Drexler to perform on it with her. The album and one of its videos won her two of her three Latin Grammys. It also helped her to start writing again.
♠   “Singing Agustín Lara’s songs and music put me in a very uncomfortable place at first — I thought it was going to be an easy thing to sing his music, but I had to explore very deep inside of me in order to be able to sing his music and his lyrics,” she says. During the three years that she was working on Mujer Divina and then touring with Lara’s songs, she was pushing herself to write songs without judgement, recording them while on tour using voice memos on her phone. “I was trying not to think too much about it. I just wanted to get to the point where I was getting the emotion of what I was feeling into the song,” she recalls.
♠   Around this time, Lafourcade was also delving into the work of many other great songwriters, particularly the classic voices of Latin America: Violeta Parra, Caetano Veloso, Chavela Vargas, Simón Díaz and Mercedes Sosa. She says she was searching for her roots and for her own connection to Mexico and to Latin America, a theme that emerges on many levels on her new album, whose name in Spanish means “down to the root.”
♠   When she finally sat down to record demos, she surprised herself with material that was more direct and emotional than anything she had done before. Some of the album deals with her relationship that ended. “Once I had recorded the songs and I could listen to them, that was the moment I realized how personal it was. I decided not hide the intimacy of the songs and just let them be the way they were coming out,” she remembers. It was cathartic. “It was so amazing, how the process can heal you in a way. Once I finished the album I even cut my hair, because I was having this sensation of,  ‘OK, it’s over.' I finished a cycle in my life. At the very end when we finished the mixing and the mastering process, I was feeling so relieved. I was feeling like, ‘OK, I am empty now,’ because I put all the things that I was feeling into this album, and now I can sing the music and I can share the music,” she says.
♠   The response from fans has been as emotional as the album’s content, perhaps because Lafourcade intentionally offers as much poetry and uplift as she does sadness. “When I saw that it was so personal and it was in a way a sad thing, I wanted to add this happiness to the album so you could say, ‘OK, I am having this heartbroken moment, but still I want to be happy and I want to go on’,” she explains. Though songs like “Nunca es Suficiente” could not be more forlorn, the drive and effervescence of “Mi Lugar Favorito” is not unlike Life Pursuit–era Belle and Sebastian in its treatment of Sixties–era pop inspirations. Stylistically, Hasta la Raíz flows gently from Sixties folk–pop to bossa nova. The smooth arrangements may remind some listeners of French pop auteur Serge Gainsbourg, while some others may be reminded of Violeta Parra’s sensitivity and otherworldliness, Chavela Vargas’s Edith Piaf–like soul, and the gently swinging poetry of Caetano Veloso.
♠   The various threads on Hasta la Raíz converge on the title track, which she wrote with her friend, the singer and songwriter Leonel García. It came out of a conversation about maintaining a sense of connection to where you come from. Lafourcade tells of a process both thoughtful and spontaneous and how, when they went into the studio, things fell into place: “He started playing this huapango riff on the guitar, which is a very traditional sound from Mexico, and then he asked me to go into the room and sing the song, but I scarcely knew it because we had just finished the song at that moment. And I was realizing at the same time what we just did. It was a special moment. It gave me goosebumps. The producer Cachorro López wanted to keep that feeling and that moment, so the voice that you can hear on the album is the same voice that I recorded that day.”
♠   The search for her roots didn’t end with the album’s release. This year, she also realized a dream she had cherished for years by touring Mexico playing only theaters that were at least 100 years old. There are enough such grand old structures in her country to make this possible, though, she says, some of them are better maintained than others. The tour stops were intimate shows that she remembers fondly, particularly the date in Veracruz where she was born. “These places were smaller places than the ones we usually do in Mexico, so the people could get the chance to listen to the music in a different way than they normally do,” she explains. When asked what she's discovered in her quest, she answers that she found exactly what she was looking for. “I was trying to go to the roots of the identity that I have as a person, and all the things that have built me as a human being, and all the things from Mexico that inspire me. I think the fact of being aware of having that is just a starting point of a new way of making music, or exploring my music. I have many more things to learn from these roots and many things still to explore. So, I think this is just the beginning of this.” http://www.villagevoice.com/
♠   One of the more colorful and charismatic pop artists to emerge in Mexico during the early 2000s, Natalia Lafourcade debuted in 2003 with a fascinating solo effort before switching to a rock band format, Natalia y la Forquetina, and proved herself worthy of acclaim in whatever guise she chose. Born Natalia Lafourcade Silva on February 26, 1984, in Mexico City, she took an early interest in music, for her parents were musicians. She knew at an early age that she wanted to become an artist, and over the course of her childhood she studied accordingly: painting, theater, and music, including such instruments as flute, guitar, piano, and saxophone, as well as singing. Though she attended a Catholic middle school, Instituto Anglo Español, Lafourcade spent several years living with her mother in Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico, where they both studied music. Some of her cited contemporary influences are Fiona Apple, Björk, Café Tacuba, and Zuco 103. With time, Lafourcade was taken under the wing of Loris Ceroni, a well–regarded Italian producer perhaps best known for his work with Alejandra Guzman. Recording at Le Dune Estudios in Italy, he produced the bulk of what would later be released by Sony Norte as Natalia Lafourcade (2003), with the remainder of the album produced by Aureo Baqueiro back in Mexico. An eclectic, free–spirited album encompassing everything from gentle bossa nova–style acoustic guitar to hard–hitting dance beats, often within the same song, Natalia Lafourcade is a fascinating album of pop confetti anchored by well–written songs and charismatic singing. It found a captive audience in Mexico, generating four hit singles (“En el 2000,” “Busca un Problema,” “Elefantes,” “Te Quiero Dar”), topping the album chart, and going three–times platinum. Moreover, it wasn’t only consumers who were captivated by the album, as Lafourcade earned four Latin Grammy nominations for her debut effort: Song of the Year (“En el 2000”), Best New Artist, Best Rock Solo Vocal Album, and Best Rock Song (“En el 2000”). She also earned a standard Grammy nomination for Best Latin Pop Album. In 2004, the following year, Lafourcade assembled a four–piece rock band, Natalia y la Forquetina, also comprising Alonso (drums, programming), Chanona (guitar, bass guitar), and Yuno (accordion, keyboards). Fernando Eimbcke, a filmmaker who had directed the video for “En el 2000,” invited Lafourcade and her new band to record a song for the soundtrack to his film Temporada de Patos (2004). The song, “Un Pato,” is a reinterpretation of a traditional bossa nova, “O Pato,” and it marked the debut of Natalia y la Forquetina. ♠   Meanwhile, the band worked on a full–length album with producer Emmanuel del Real, aka Meme, from the band Café Tacuba, and also with Baqueiro once again. The resulting album, Casa (2005), is indeed the product of a genuine rock band, with surging electric guitars driving many of the songs. Though considerably more one–dimensional than Lafourcade's self–titled debut, and not quite as successful, Casa nonetheless spun off some hits, topped the album chart, went platinum in Mexico, and won a Latin Grammy for Best Rock Album by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Furthermore, the band arrangement facilitated Lafourcade's emergence as a concert performer, and indeed, she took Natalia y la Forquetina on the road, touring extensively throughout Mexico over the course of a year’s time. Their last show was August 18, 2006, after which Lafourcade disbanded la Forquetina and resumed her solo career with the classical EP Las 4 Estaciones del Amor (2008). She then returned to pop with the Grammy–nominated Hu Hu Hu (2009) and Mujer Divina: Homenaje a Agustín Lara (2012), as well as Hasta la Raíz (2015). ~ Jason Birchmeier
Website: http://natalialafourcadeyo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lafourcadeyo/
Hasta La Raíz
Sigo cruzando ríos
Andando selvas
Amando el sol
Cada día sigo sacando espinas
De lo profundo del corazón
En la noche sigo encendiendo sueños
Para limpiar con el humo sagrado cada recuerdo
Cuando escriba tu nombre
En la arena blanca con fondo azul
Cuando miro el cielo en la forma cruel de una nube gris
Aparezcas tú
Una tarde suba una alta loma
Mire el pasado
Sabrás que no te he olvidado
Yo te llevo dentro, hasta la raíz
Y, por más que crezca, vas a estar aquí
Aunque yo me oculte tras la montaña
Y encuentre un campo lleno de caña
No habrá manera, mi rayo de luna
Que tú te vayas
Pienso que cada instante sobrevivido al caminar
Y cada segundo de incertidumbre
Cada momento de no saber
Son la clave exacta de este tejido
Que ando cargando bajo la piel
Así te protejo
Aquí sigues dentro
Yo te llevo dentro, hasta la raíz
Y, por más que crezca, vas a estar aquí
Aunque yo me oculte tras la montaña
Y encuentre un campo lleno de caña
No habrá manera, mi rayo de luna
Que tú te vayas
Natalia Lafourcade — Hasta la Raíz [Edición Especial] (March 17, 2015)



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