Andrea Echeverri

Finally Andrea Echeverri will have her self-titled debut issued in the U.S., eight months after its original release in Colombia. Its arrival will certainly be welcome by those who remember her group Aterciopelados as mid-Nineties representatives of a bigger, underground, Latin alternative rock movement in their country.

It is peculiar that the land of machismo -- which includes not only Colombia but the Spanish-speaking region from San Diego down to Argentina -- is now exporting all kinds of feminine sensibilities, whether they are being expressed through pop, rock, or electronic loops. And I'm not referring to J.Lo here. I am talking about women with ideas, their own lyrics, and an inventive sound, and who don't spend all their time practicing choreography numbers. The coincidence is that this is taking place in well-known machista countries such as Mexico and Colombia where, until fifteen minutes ago, only men received opportunities to break into a rock market that was mostly male-driven, male-infested, and created by men for men. Now there are big expectations for what female musicians do, too.

For those who enjoyed recent albums by Julieta Venegas (2003's ) and Ely Guerra (last year's Sweet & Sour, Hot y Spicy), it has to be said that the beautifully crafted Andrea Echeverri is just as good. Echeverri's twelve songs are delicate but catchy, expertly written and properly toned down from the familiar adrenaline rush of Aterciopelados. She wants to share her motherhood experiences, and it is not an exaggeration to say that even cock rockers will love it.

The music is a mixture of downtempo and Colombian folk. On the best songs -- "Amortiguador" ("Shock Absorber"), "Baby Blues," "A Eme O" ("I Love"), "Ya Yo No" ("Now I'm Not") -- she sings better than ever, and truly makes you feel sorry for all the things that we, the army of men, have been missing since day one. As you listen to her lullabies, she talks about giving birth to a baby girl, and the joy it has brought to her life. Can motherhood really be this cool?

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Javier Andrade