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Tuesday Reviewsday: Juanes and La Santa Cecilia

The LA based band, La Santa Cecilia.
The LA based band, La Santa Cecilia.

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Every week we hear brand new music selections and reviews. This week, Take Two contributor Justino Aguila offers new selections from the Columbian artist Juanes and LA’s very own La Santa Cecilia.

Here are his picks!


Album: Mis Planes Son Amarte (My Plans Are to Love You)

Juanes' new album is out of this world, literally. Mis Planes Son Amarte (or My Plans Are to Love You) is about a (fictional) guy who is in love and follows the woman-his soul mate-in his life while a space theme surrounds his travels between different periods of life; it's quite a fantastical journey that in the visual sense takes us through a film that's nicely connected with the music and one of favorite albums of the year.

But what makes it really amazing is that it's a visual album. This combination of the visual with music is where Juanes is taking it up a notch, but it's the music that's stands out here. The songs have plenty of cool rock and pop, but there's also guasca, salsa, guasca and a bit of disco; there's a retro feel for sure in the new album. 

Here's the video for the first song we reviewed ... Angel. 

Fans will find that there is something for everyone, but one thing that was important to Juanes was to simply go back to basics: creating music he enjoys creating and in some ways it's somewhat connected to his solo debut album Fijate Bien (Pay Attention) in terms of that signature, very cool Juanes sound. 

This album shows Juanes' growth in a major way; he's more confident, and vulnerable at the same time. He takes his craft seriously and he always seems open to working with others, collaborating with people who have influenced him. His mastery of making music is illustrated here and shows he's still on top of the music game. I really do think that part of that success is owned to working with a team who really gets him and understands his creative edge. 

The 13 songs on the new album are beautifully crafted such as "Angel," which has that rock/pop vibe and then there's Juanes' first English-language song, "Goodbye for Now," a heartbreak song that's upbeat even though the break theme is bittersweet. Simply put, Juanes' new album rocks.

La Santa Cecilia

Album: "Amar y Vivir" (En Vivo Desde La Ciudad De México, 2017/Live from the City of Mexico, 2017)

La Santa Cecilia also has a new album: Amar y Vivir, or Love and Live. It's one of their best, a project that also includes the visual theme. The songs are classic cover songs that allow Marisoul's voice to shine brighter as these delicate ballads are executed in top-notch form.

The album's producer Sebastian Krys, who has won many awards for his work, also took his work on this album to new heights. The title track and "Como Dios Manda" are beautiful compositions. The later is the only one written by the band."

"Como Dios Manda" is strong in composition, lyrics and sets off a very emotional tone that makes for a somber song about lost love. The instrumentation feels classic, beautiful and defines in melody what it's like to miss someone.

Bravo to La Santa Cecilia for having achieved this kind of work, while maintaining a healthy touring schedule. The visual album was filmed in Mexico, so that added element makes the live  performances extra special.