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Pop/Rock - Released January 4, 2004 | RCA Records Label

At the height of her decade-long rise to fame, Julieta Venegas released her first live album, MTV Unplugged, a star-studded and meticulously arranged performance recorded before 450 adoring fans in Mexico City. She performs her greatest hits, of course, but she also adds to her set list relatively obscure songs -- most delightfully "Esta Vez," a ballad from her debut album, Aquí (1998) -- and several new songs, including the international chart-topping lead single, "El Presente." As with many MTV Unplugged albums, guest stars are featured throughout; most noteworthy among them here are Spanish rapper Mala Rodríguez, who performs in the place of Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux on "Eres Para Mí," and Brazilian superstar Marisa Monte, who duets in Portuguese on "Ilusión" (a new song written by Venegas, Monte, and Arnaldo Antunes). Guest star or not, the performances are each interesting in their arrangements, which are generally quite different from their studio original counterparts. "Lento," one of Venegas' biggest and best hits, is the most drastically rearranged -- just piano and strings, plus chorus vocals, including some from the audience, who amusingly fight their collective urge to sing along. At least 20 different musicians are credited for the performance, chief among them Mexican alternative star Natalia Lafourcade, who switches instruments throughout. Given the guest star appearances and the small army of musicians, MTV Unplugged is best enjoyed on DVD, where the show can be seen as well as heard. This is a wonderful performance by Venegas, a pop star of the highest integrity and one with great regard for her craft. Fans of her music -- and fans of Latin pop in general -- shouldn't overlook this album because of the MTV affiliation. The new material and newly arranged versions of the hits are well worth checking out, and the performance is brilliantly executed. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Latin America - Released May 25, 2006 | Ariola

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Pop - Released November 22, 2019 | Lolein Music S.A. de C.V.

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Latin America - Released August 14, 2015 | Ohanian S. de R.L. de C.V.

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Si

World - Released April 2, 2010 | Ariola

Julieta Venegas is happy. First there was the outpouring of words like "poetic," "enigmatic," and "intense" among critics raving about the accordion-playing Tijuana native's 2000 release, Bueninvento. Then came her memorable contribution to the Amores Perros soundtrack and subsequent collaborations and appearances with major rock en español artists like Jarabe de Palo lead man Pau Dones and Cuban balladeer Silvio Rodríguez. And not incidentally, judging from the cover of Sí, which features Venegas cavorting in a wedding gown on a cotton candy pink background, somewhere in the intervening three years a question got popped. For every complex and moody fan alienated by what proves to be an unapologetically, even relentlessly perky recording, the airplay and buzz following Sí's November 2003 launch suggested it generated plenty of sunny new converts. Indeed, the ten songs, all written by Venegas or co-authored with Argentine composer, session musician, and co-producer Coti Sorokin, offer much to like. Venegas flirts with folkloric stereotypes in norteño-lounge numbers like "Andar Conmigo" and "Oleada," weds them to hip-hop in "Lo Que Pidas," and commandeers the dancefloor at the reception in shameless disco salutes like "Donde Quiero Estar" and "A Tu Lado," making joyous use of a voice that's sounding as assured and uncluttered as that of Aterciopelados' Andrea Echeverri. The 35 minutes of total play time might seem scant and the lyrics more than a little love struck, but don't lump Venegas in with other passing fancies. Sometimes love is meant to last. ~ Jenny Gage
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Pop/Rock - Released March 16, 2010 | RCA Records Label

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. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Pop/Rock - Released March 21, 1997 | Ariola

Aquí marks the debut of all-around talent Julieta Venegas, who here writes her own songs, sings them, plays the piano (as well as accordion, keyboards, organ, and vibraphone), programs the beats -- she does a lot. Over the course of Aquí she puts her talents on display in dramatic fashion, crafting an almost painfully intimate album that sweeps across different styles and moods steadily, carried throughout by her poetic singing. All of this is perfectly foreshadowed in the opening moments of the album's opening track, "Oportunidad," which begins with roughly 20 seconds of solo piano suddenly eclipsed by some abrupt programmed beats and percussion that are accompanied by haunting accordion and then Venegas' majestic voice. By the time the chorus comes crashing in near the two-minute mark, you're immersed in an utterly unique approach to rock en español that supplants the traditional guitar-bass-drums approach with accordion-keyboards-beats. That is, until about halfway through the album, when "Con Su Propia Voz" opens with a stormy wave of violent piano, announcing a sharp change in direction. And indeed, the second half is stormy sailing as Venegas throws it all at you -- string arrangements, gentle electric guitar washes, choral sections, a cappella singing, orchestral stabs -- and shifts tempos, arrangements, and moods from song to song, all the while tying the proceedings together with her ever-present voice. To top it all off, she has the best producer in Latin alternative music, Gustavo Santaolalla, at the helm of the ship, and Café Tacuba bandmembers Enrique Rangel, Joselo Rangel, and Rubén Albarrán credited with bass, guitar, and design, respectively. Aquí has many standout moments, including "De Mis Pasos," "Cómo Sé," "Con Su Propia Voz," and "Recuerdo Perdido," yet the album is best enjoyed as a beginning-to-end listen. The sequencing is key, for Aquí builds into something much greater than the sum of its pieces. [The album is accompanied by enhanced content, including photos, lyrics, and a video for "De Mis Pasos."] ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Pop/Rock - Released March 19, 2013 | RCA Records Label

Julieta Venegas takes a (slight) left turn with Los Momentos. Released three years after her last studio album, which is just about par for this endearingly languid artist, its making was influenced by a series of events that made Venegas reconsider her perspective in music and in life. To begin with, at the age of 40 in 2010, Venegas became a mother for the first time. In order to deal more adequately with maternity and motherhood, she decided to work from home rather than in a big studio. This also necessitated ditching her usual collaborator, multiple Latin Grammy winner Cachorro López, and turn instead to promising indie Mexican producer Yamil Rezc (Los Bunkers, Hello Seahorse!). The change in sound is quite telling. Gone are most acoustic instruments, including her trademark accordion, as well as obvious stabs at contemporary Latin pop or hip-hop. Los Momentos is a homespun electro-pop record that sounds as if it was made on a laptop by a child of the '80s, where synthetic keyboards and beats reign supreme. It is not, however, much of a dance record, because of the understated presence of Venegas' piano (presumably she composed most of the material on it), and most of all because there's nothing remotely disco diva about Venegas' hushed singer/songwriter voice. Another key factor is the surprisingly somber tone of the album, particularly coming on the wake of the sunny Sí/Limón y Sal/Otra Cosa trilogy that turned Venegas into a world music superstar. Venegas has declared that her new songs reflect her sense of defeatism about the drug-related violence that has turned much of Mexico into a quasi-war zone. Such concern is only made explicit on "Vuelve," which features vocal contributions by Anita Tijoux and Ruben Albarrán (Café Tacvba), but permeates the subdued, resigned mood of the entire record. Even the more uptempo songs, like the fine singles "Tuve para Dar" and "Te Vi," feature uneasy lyrics that contrast sharply with Venegas' previous happy-go-lucky output. Above all, regardless of the circumstances of its production, Los Momentos seems to be a conscious choice on Venegas' part to distance herself from the naïf hippie image she has been typically associated with since she hit the big time, and regain control of her own career by sending it back to the indie songwriter side of the tracks. As it would be immediately apparent to those who follow Venegas from her beginnings or listen to her entire albums rather than only her radio-friendly hits, this is the course she always intended her career to follow, but was somewhat sidetracked by unexpected mainstream success. Los Momentos is arguably not her best album, in the sense that its songs are all very good but none are definitely great, but it will certainly force many of her detractors to change their minds about her, and help establish Venegas' true place in Latin music. ~ Mariano Prunes
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Pop/Rock - Released August 22, 2000 | Ariola

Julieta Venegas made a remarkable debut in 1998 with Aquí, an album of enormous breadth and boldness. Her follow-up, Bueninvento, is no less bold, though it is more stylistically consistent from beginning to end. The piano songs that characterized the second half of Aquí are nowhere to be found on Bueninvento, as Venegas instead delves headlong into the style of driving rock en español exemplified by "De Mis Pasos," one of the two singles from Aquí. Like "De Mis Pasos," the songs of Bueninvento are driven by drums (often programmed), accordion accents, electric guitar, and compelling choruses. There's also a lot of keyboard, which becomes evident immediately, on the album-opener, "Fé," which sounds like an amped-up rewrite of "Cómo Sé," the other single from Aquí. The second song on Bueninvento, "Hoy No Quiero," makes evident the degree to which guitars play a large role in driving these songs with aggressive forward momentum. In fact, the entire opening stretch of songs showcases the qualities of Bueninvento; for instance, "Casa Abandonada," the third song, opens with a minute-long solo accordion riff, while "Enero y Abril," the fourth song, is richly layered with programmed beats. As Bueninvento progresses, the variations in mood and intensity from song to song become the most noticeable aspect of the album: downbeat songs often follow upbeat ones, and loud choruses often cut through the calm opening verses, with a chaotic finale capping off most songs. A few songs toward the end of the album stand tall: "Bueninvento," which rattles along on a nervy beatscape and erupts with strings toward its close; "Sería Feliz," the successive song, which mesmerizingly seems to sway back and forth; and then "Instantánea," which opens with a couple minutes of tense acoustic guitar strumming and fragile singing, then ruptures gloriously. Despite the many standout songs, Bueninvento plays like one long 14-song suite. The songs themselves have their unique characteristics, to be sure, yet end up seeming like sequenced movements when the album finally comes a close after 54 tumultuous minutes. While this can make the album difficult to penetrate at first listen -- make no mistake, this is not pop music -- Bueninvento is a deeply rewarding album, one that is rich with tension and intensity and one that reveals itself a little differently with each listen. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Latin America - Released January 19, 2018 | WM Mexico

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Pop - Released December 18, 2007 | RCA Records Label

Over the course of four albums, from 1997 to 2006, Julieta Venegas evolved from a Latin alternative favorite to an international pop star, an evolution that Realmente Lo Mejor, a 12-track compilation of her singles to date, traces chronologically. Her four albums -- Aquí (1997), Bueninvento (1999), Sí (2003), Limón y Sal (2006) -- can be grouped together roughly. The first two, Aquí and Bueninvento, are abrasive alt-rock efforts, produced by Gustavo Santaolalla and backed by the rhythm section of Café Tacuba; though both albums were certified gold in Mexico, neither spawned a charting single (each did spawn a pair of singles, however, all four of which are compiled here). The latter two, Sí and Limón y Sal, are upbeat pop albums, produced and co-written by Coti Sorokin and Cachorro López; both albums were chart-toppers in Mexico, where each racked up four international hit singles, half of them number ones, and both albums were also Grammy recipients (Best Rock Solo Vocal Album for the former; Best Alternative Music Album and Best Latin Pop Album for the latter). Realmente Lo Mejor lines up the 12 singles from these four albums in the order that they were released, from the tense rock en español of "De Mis Pasos" to the lilting pop-rap of "Primer Día." The singles flow together smoothly, and by the end of the CD, the stylistic evolution of Venegas over the years sounds perfectly natural, an artistic progression rather than a calculated crossover bid. Each of the aforementioned albums is stellar from beginning to end, so fans will want to hear them all. Realmente Lo Mejor is recommended to those who just want the singles, or who are looking for a good single-purchase summary of the Venegas catalog to date. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Latin America - Released November 15, 2012 | Pop Art

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Latin America - Released July 17, 2015 | Ohanian S. de R.L. de C.V.

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World - Released January 1, 2007 | Fonarte Latino

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Latin America - Released July 17, 2015 | Ohanian S. de R.L. de C.V.

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Pop - Released March 11, 2014 | Columbia