With female emcee Ana Tijoux’s latest musical installment, La Bala, she picks up off where her critically acclaimed album, 1977, left off–without being as personal.
On 1977, Tijoux spoke very candidly about the complexities of being a female emcee when moving to Chile, as well as growing up in France to Chilean parents during the Pinochet Regime. With La Bala (literally, ‘the bullet’), which just made it’s debut in America January 24th after being released in South America last year, Tijoux walks the line of socially conscious music with a message behind it.
In a recent interview with online site Remezcla.com, Tijoux explains how the new album works as a continuum from 1977, yet a definite progression. Tijoux says, “La Bala is a logical continuation from 1977. I don’t want to repeat what I’ve done before, and I don’t want to fall under the expectations that people have for this new album. To make another 1977 could have been the worst thing I could have done – to repeat the formula. Saying this, I don’t feel like I’m the ‘king of the tree’ of music, it’s just about emotion and sensibility… So saying that La Bala is a logical continuation, the difference is also that there are a lot of classical instruments like tuba, violin, real drums, and etcetera. I wanted this album to be more organic – the perfect mixture.”
That being said, La Bala, is a fluid and poetic album and a great follow-up for Tijoux. Despite not knowing exactly what Tijoux is saying (at least, not without FreeTranslation.com) what I did pick up on was a great and interesting listen. This project definitely shook me straight out of all of my preconceived ideas (thanks to Pitbull and Daddy Yankee) about Spanish rap. Tijoux’s rhyme style is poetic and melodic, qualities which combine to make this album a rather impressive project. The highlights on the album begin with, “El Rey Solo,” which is a beautiful song, and rather smooth, making listeners want to sway back and forth, not to mention the guitar solo on the end of the song which make this a definite highlight.
The production on “Las Cosas Por Su Nombre,” and the opening sample as well, command attention on this track, while, “Las Horas,” is more of a sensual song, powered by strings during the verses and singing on the chorus. The mellowness of “Sacar La Voz,” and the collaboration with Los Aldenanos on “Si Te Preguntan,” makes this album a well-balanced effort. Overall, this is a great follow-up for Tijoux, and she definitely has a new fan in me.