Natalia Lafourcade

Hu Hu Hu

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After the considerable commercial and critical success of 2005's Casa (including a Grammy for Best Latin Rock Album), Natalia Lafourcade opted for strengthening her creative independence, becoming involved in several collaborations, releasing her own a EP of instrumental music, and temporarily moving to Ottawa, Canada -- quite a contrast to México City. It was during her stay in Ottawa that she wrote most of the material for Uh Uh Uh, including her first three songs in English. The album sees Lafourcade moving away from the electro-pop of Casa and enthusiastically expanding the experimental tendencies latent in her previous work. If in the past she has been routinely compared to Shakira, Nelly Furtado, or Julieta Venegas (who shares vocals on the playful title track), the more mature and cosmopolitan Lafourcade of Uh Uh Uh appears to be traveling on the same wavelength of artists such as Joanna Newsom, Juana Molina, Bat for Lashes, or CocoRosie -- in short, the entire generation of female singer/songwriters spawned by the music and image of Björk, whose influence is all over the place on Uh Uh Uh. This can easily be seen in the emphasis on the elaboration of vocal textures, taking as its point of departure a childlike voice, the mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments and sounds, or in song structures being replaced by the building up of mantra-like patterns. The difference between Lafourcade and the other artists mentioned is that she manages to mutate the "weird" into "cute," retaining her naïve teen sensibility (most evident in the lyrics) over any artistic pretensions. The results are perhaps less imposing, but certainly more immediately ear-friendly, poppier. Once again, Lafourcade trusted Café Tacuba's Emmanuel del Real with the production. Aided by the equally intriguing arrangements of Yon Garfias, the decision was surely a key factor in the artistic triumph that is Uh Uh Uh, by far Natalia Lafourcade's most creative and interesting album to date.

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