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Amaia Montero

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Album Review

When lead vocalist Amaia Montero left La Oreja de Van Gogh for a solo career in 2007 after a decade of chart-topping international success, the question naturally arose of how central she had been to the band's remarkable success. Not only was she the attractive frontwoman of the otherwise all-guy band and therefore its most visible member; she was also a key partner in the band's songwriting process, along with keyboardist Xabi San Martín and guitarist Pablo Benegas. In her absence, the band swiftly replaced her with the younger vocalist Leire Martínez and didn't waste any time releasing "El Último Vals," the smash hit lead single from the likewise chart-topping album A las Cinco en el Astoria (2008). While the album didn't quite measure up to past La Oreja de Van Gogh albums such as El Viaje de Copperpot (2000), Lo Que Te Conté Mientras Te Hacías la Dormida (2003), and Guapa (2006) — presumably in part because of Montero's absence — A las Cinco en el Astoria was nonetheless an impressive album and suggested that perhaps Amaia wasn't as central to the band's success as some had thought. Then two and a half months later came the release of Amaia Montero, preceded by the lead single "Quiero Ser," and no longer did anyone have reason to question Montero's ability. A respectably modest solo debut effort, Amaia Montero is an often near-perfect album that puts the singer/songwriter firmly in the spotlight, where she shines brilliantly on practically every song as both a singer and songwriter. The music is still pop/rock in the style of La Oreja de Van Gogh, and thankfully it's dynamic and varied from song to song with only a couple ballads ("407," "Te Falta Rock"), and tasteful ballads at that. Yet no longer does Montero contend with the showmanship of her backing band, especially aforementioned keyboardist Xabi San Martín and guitarist Pablo Benegas, who seemed to push the last Oreja de Van Gogh album, Guapa, in the direction of musical indulgence (e.g., "Muñeca de Trapo," an amazing song powered by the push and pull of Montero's vocals and Benegas' riffs). On the contrary, Montero sounds perfectly at ease on her self-titled album debut, singing well-written, generally upbeat songs with basic pop/rock backing and the pristine studio craft of Italian producer Claudio Guidetti. The aforementioned album-opening lead single, "Quiero Ser," is as close to perfect as anything Montero ever performed with La Oreja de Van Gogh, and part of its genius is how the music understatedly serves the song rather than the interests of the musicians. There are a lot of other great songs on Amaia Montero, ones with similarly understated musical backing ("Mirando el Mar") as well as bigger, louder songs with greater layers of production more typical of latter day La Oreja de Van Gogh ("Tulipán"). In fact, there's not a dull song on Amaia Montero, a respectably modest solo debut effort that concludes after 11 songs in 42 minutes without so much as a featured guest or any other superstar gesture typical of contemporary pop music.

Customer Reviews

Una Buena Artista con un grupo o no...

Ella esta buena con los chicos de La Oreja de Van Gogh, pero esta trabaja es mas de la voz Amaia y menos de la musica de Pablo, Xabi, Alvaro, and Haritz. Quiero Ser es muy "cute" and todos de las canciones muestran growth. This is a disco q vale la pena. You won't be disappointed!

Fantastic - Finally!

I waited & wondered what the beautiful voiced Amaia would produce for her solo effort. This collection of songs does not disappoint! Clearly her voice is fantastic but even more impressive are the songs. They are very pop friendly with terrific hooks. This is a departure for many of her fans and while change can be difficult, her CD is a great effort with beautiful results. Congratulations Amaia and thank you!

Artista hecha y derecha!!

Q lastima que LODVG y Amaia no hayan funcionado como grupo. Su voz es incomparable. Mucha suerte hoy y siempre! Este album esta buenisimo.

Biography

Born: August 26, 1976 in Irún, Guipúzcoa, Spain

Genre: Latin Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Spanish singer/songwriter Amaia Montero experienced ten years of chart-topping, award-winning success as the frontwoman of the internationally popular Spanish pop/rock band La Oreja de Van Gogh before embarking on a solo recording career, beginning with her chart-topping self-titled debut album in 2008. Born Amaia Montero Saldías on August 26, 1976, in Irún, Guipúzcoa, Spain, she joined the band Los Sin Nombre in 1996. Renaming themselves La Oreja de Van Gogh after the addition of Montero, the San...
Full Bio
Amaia Montero, Amaia Montero
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Latin Pop, Music, Latino
  • Released: Nov 14, 2008

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