Otra Cosa, the eagerly awaited fifth studio album by Julieta Venegas, is remarkably similar to her previous two, Sí (2003) and Limón y Sal (2006). The similarity is remarkable because both those albums were all-around excellent, loaded with Latin pop hits and first-rate album tracks. There wasn't a bad track on either album, and Otra Cosa is likewise rock-solid, starting off with three fantastic songs in a row, "Amores Platónicos," "Bien o Mal," and "Despedida." Moreover, all three albums are similar in style, produced by Cachorro López and comprised of upbeat pop songs with clever lyrics, rich melodies, and a range of instrumentation (guitar, piano, accordion, and beats, above all). Otra Cosa was eagerly awaited in part because of the four years since Limón y Sal. During that time, Venegas became one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Latin pop artists in the world. She was already well established in her native Mexico, of course, where she was a Top Ten artist as early as her first album, Aquí (1998), yet it took awhile for the rest of the Spanish-language world to catch on. Venegas crossed over internationally with Sí and Limón y Sal, which signaled her switch from alternative rock to Latin pop and won her a bunch of Latin Grammys in the process, and she furthered her success with the greatest-hits album Realmente Lo Mejor (2007) and the spectacular MTV Unplugged (2008). At the height of her success, Venegas withdrew from public and spent much of 2009 in the tranquility of her home, working on dozens of new songs in her home studio. In time, she teamed up with López in his Buenos Aires studio, and they put the finishing touches on what would become album five. Otra Cosa isn't quite as impressive as its two predecessors, only because one has come to expect nothing except brilliance from Venegas, especially as a songwriter. It's also a bit less impressive because it's more subdued and insular than last time, the sound of an ace singer/songwriter working from the comforts of home. For instance, there's nothing as lively as "Eres para Mí," the smash hit pop-rap collaboration with Anita Tijoux from Limón y Sal. The late-album highlights, "Ya Conocerán" and "Eterno" are about as energized as this album gets, and the collaborations with Ale Sergi of Miranda and Adrian Dargelos of Babasónicos aren't anything special.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier