In a world of vocalists who become famous thanks to American Idol, La Academia, and the like, it's nice to come across a singer who worked her way up the ladder in a more traditional way. Born in Panama to Brazilian and Panamanian parents, Erika Ender showed an affinity for song from an early age, beginning to write her own when only nine years old. Making her first television appearance at the age of 16 on a Venezuelan program, and following it up with a number of appearances on Panamanian TV, Ender garnered more and more notice. Collaborations with A-listers like Rubén Blades, Chayanne, Elvis Crespo, and Gilberto Santa Rosa soon followed. Flash forward to the 2004 release of her solo debut, Abreme la Puerta. Unlike many Latin pop performers, Ender exhibits a well-developed knowledge of not only where she's going (up the charts), but also where she's from. The disc has a pop sheen that's undeniable, but below churn the rhythms and melodies of her tropical upbringing. The accordion-laced cumbia flavor of her native Panama graces almost every track. Though totally pop radio-ready, Ender is also admirably rooted. The songs are well written and memorable without exception. With a debut release like Abreme la Puerta, open doors are sure to follow.
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AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez