Julieta Venegas

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Julieta Venegas is happy. First there was the outpouring of words like "poetic," "enigmatic," and "intense" among critics raving about the accordion-playing Tijuana native's 2000 release, Bueninvento. Then came her memorable contribution to the Amores Perros soundtrack and subsequent collaborations and appearances with major rock en español artists like Jarabe de Palo lead man Pau Dones and Cuban balladeer Silvio Rodríguez. And not incidentally, judging from the cover of , which features Venegas cavorting in a wedding gown on a cotton candy pink background, somewhere in the intervening three years a question got popped. For every complex and moody fan alienated by what proves to be an unapologetically, even relentlessly perky recording, the airplay and buzz following 's November 2003 launch suggested it generated plenty of sunny new converts. Indeed, the ten songs, all written by Venegas or co-authored with Argentine composer, session musician, and co-producer Coti Sorokin, offer much to like. Venegas flirts with folkloric stereotypes in norteño-lounge numbers like "Andar Conmigo" and "Oleada," weds them to hip-hop in "Lo Que Pidas," and commandeers the dancefloor at the reception in shameless disco salutes like "Donde Quiero Estar" and "A Tu Lado," making joyous use of a voice that's sounding as assured and uncluttered as that of Aterciopelados' Andrea Echeverri. The 35 minutes of total play time might seem scant and the lyrics more than a little love struck, but don't lump Venegas in with other passing fancies. Sometimes love is meant to last.

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