Thursday, February 6, 2014

Album Review: Gina Chavez -up.rooted

Gina Chavez
**** out of *****
The gorgeous cover art welcomes up.rooted with the eyes while the sounds Gina Chavez has crafted rings gloriously in the ears. The Austin based singer/songwriter credits her multicultural family upbringing with exposing her to a variety of sounds and on the artists second album she plays with everything from bossa nova, reggaeton, soul, traditional folk and full on pop send ups.

Opening with "Save Me" Chavez instantly pulls the listener in with raving up on a jamming soul tune complete with horns that are dynamite. That opener juxtaposed with the delicate straight up love song "Will You Love" that comes later in the album, stand out as amazing tracks that travel very different paths while both sticking with the listener long after up.rooted ends.

Chavez has recently returned from doing mission work in El Salvador, working closely with girls in gang dominated Soyapango and that experience can heard in tunes like "Like An Animal" that deals with some of life's hardships for women.  An upbeat tune that experience also produced is the bouncing "Siete-D" recalling insane bus rides around town with Spanish vocals that flow.

"Maiz" is a delicate folk song accented by plucking and Chavez's glorious voice while "Gotta Get" struts around with Latino swagger. "Soy Quien Soy" is a pleading tune which could be dealing with gender-issues and nationality problems related to them over a pleading refrain while the sparse "Fire Water" drips along and "Miles de Millas" yearns and sashay's.  

The multicultural approach checks lots of PR boxes, but it is the overall tone of things on up.rooted that really hits home. Listeners may not be able to understand or identify with everything Chavez is singing about but the honesty, truth and beauty in her voice and music allows you to connect anyway; a great listen from a new artist who is sure to soar in popularity with this release.
Sometimes you need to judge books by their cover. What caught our eye was the cover art, in getting sent so many albums this stood out and the music rewarded with each listen. Def an early 2014 highlight.

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:
"Gotta Get" Live

"Miles de Millas" Live Solo Acoustic:

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