Desafiando La Gravedad

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Desafiando la Gravedad, the fifth studio album by former Operación Triunfo star Chenoa, is a continuation of her past couple efforts and finds her further developing her own musical style and voice as a songwriter. When she first emerged from reality television at the turn of the century, she was a dance-pop star who performed songs penned by her industry handlers. While her first couple albums, Chenoa (2002) and Soy Mujer (2003), spawned a parade of big hits, above all the respective chart-topping lead singles "Atrévete" and "En Tu Cruz Me Clavaste," Chenoa began taking charge of her career with her third album, Nada Es Igual (2005). That album's turn toward pop/rock à la Laura Pausini (e.g., the chart-topping mid-tempo rocker "Rutinas") under the helm of international hitmaker Dado Parisini seemed like a good fit for the young singer, whose toughness and determination are better suited to emotionally charged pop/rock than carefree dance-pop. Her next album, Absurda Cenicienta (2007), a similarly styled pop/rock effort, found her taking yet another step forward, as in collaboration with producer Alfonso Samos she co-wrote the bulk of her songs for the first time. Desafiando la Gravedad finds her once again co-writing the bulk of her material, this time with producers Yoel Henríquez and Mauricio Gasca, and once again developing her style as a pop/rocker. The album opens with a trio of standout songs that signal the direction of the album. The opener, "Buenas Noticias," is an upbeat song with acoustic guitar, a syncopated drum track, and bubbly touches of electronic effects. The chorus hits hard with Chenoa belting out the refrain as a dense Wall of Sound kicks in, electric guitar, backup vocals, and all. "Nada de Nada" is more intense, a surging electro-rock song powered by an overdriven electric guitar riff and muscular duet vocals by Mexican diva Gloria Trevi. These two songs are interspersed by "Duele," a power ballad of heartbreak that showcases the vulnerable side of Chenoa. While these three standout songs get Desafiando la Gravedad off to an impressive start, there's plenty more to enjoy as the album progresses, changing tempo often over the course of its dozen tracks.

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