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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Album Spotlight: Julieta Venegas ‘Bueninvento’ shows clash between interests of wants, needs

Photo by Photo by Carlos Guzmán
Julieta Venegas

Being Hispanic, physically placed away from my native home of the Rio Grande Valley, the absence of my culture and language soon began manifesting in my mind. The transition between being in a town where Latino music blasts from trucks at nearly every street intersection to another town where such activities are absent, feels rather jarring.
I appreciated Spanish music, primarily for nostalgic reasons, but was never truly a fan growing up in the Valley. I was more inclined toward alternative and singer/songwriter music such as Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair. Essentially, in terms of my music library, I was a foil character who had little to no connection with my peers, colleagues and population in my general proximity.
By the fall 2021 semester, I had finally moved to College Station, and by the first month had realized a great disconnect with my identity. Just how we tune out things from our surrounding environment, I tuned out my culture when I was in the Valley, but the lack of it in College Station created an emptiness I didn’t realize I needed to fill. I then sought for it, in the form of music, and in my exploration, I found my perfect remedy: “Bueninvento.”
Julieta Venegas’ 2000 album created an environment that was much needed for me at the time, one that recalls feelings from the past and brought satisfaction to the present. Venegas’ style of music grabs inspiration and basis from traditional Mexican and Latin rock music, but with an alternative twist. Throughout her whole music catalog this is evident, but “Bueninvento” adds a certain emphasis to the peak alternative movement that was occurring in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a Mexican reflection of the music to which I have been so accustomed.
The “alternative” production — such as electric guitar, synths and 808 reminiscent beats — is the staple to the whole album, complemented with acoustic rhythm guitar, strings, horns, energizing drums and, most importantly, Venegas’ iconic accordion. Each song, composed of nearly all of these elements, is able to stand out independently, giving a sense of a general feeling that can be appreciated without being too niche.
Her lyricism supplements such production style as well, being comparable to that of a Mexican Fiona Apple. Although not very diverse in her word play, the image and emotions she invokes perfectly paint a picture and transmit the message. Spanish being already the colorful language that it is, no further dramatization of word choice is needed without seeming too pompous, flowing naturally and effectively.
Favorite Tracks:
“Fe” (Faith) – An amazing opener to the album, following a more bossa nova tone with its production style and a catchy bridge that hooks you onto the rest of the album.
“Casa Abandonada” (Abandoned House) – A song that primarily features Venegas’ masterful accordion, which after a couple listens became an unskippable track for me.
“Enero y Abril” (January and April) – A quasi-rock ballad that hits hard as soon as the chorus hits, displaying somber and cold tones with images of a warmer spring.
“Siempre en Mi Mente” (Always on My Mind) – Another song that exemplifies that beauty of the accordion, building up slowly and bursting at the seams with emotion by the end.
“Flor” (Flower) – A robust and volatile song that starts off as delicate a flower, soon bearing an unhinged electric guitar as the track progresses.
“Seria Feliz” (Would be Happy) – A song I have been obsessing over since winter break, an absolute masterpiece that holds satirical lyrics which describe the relationship between possessions and happiness.
Although the language barrier may be present, I encourage the reader to not shy away from this experience. The album overall has opened my eyes to other genres of music, both in Spanish and English, and has perfectly filled the gap I had once left behind.

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