Ely Guerra
Name of Album: Lotofire
Ratings: Personal - 5 General - 5
Release Date: Out Now (June 2002)


Ely, ay Ely! How you bring out the Latino in me! The sultry sibilance of the first minute of her latest album, Lotofire is one of the most alluring overtures to a modern pop record I've heard in a long time. Señorita Guerra has a roughly honed voice whose beautiful rasp reminds me of the adolescent infatuations I had while listening to Sade while in high-school. Ely's music, especially with a deep track like Profundidad, guides and soothes by encouraging the pathetic extended pangs of vacuous emotion felt by every true lover, every single one of them understanding there is no pleasure without pain.

I thoroughly appreciated this woman's artistry and look forward to all opportunities to hear more. I expect big things form her, considering that she not only serves as the songbird on the album, but she's the composer and lyricist as well. ¡Ay, que chevere! "Suave" never fit so well to a belle and her siren allure.

I truly enjoyed the subtle instrumental accompaniment. Kudos to the mixmaster who produced it.

Track 3, Yo Voy is a particular favorite of mine, her interpretation sounds almost like she's speaking Japanese. I studied this Eastern language for two college years so I have a keen sensitivity for such things. Besides, correctly pronounced Spanish and Nihongo sound practically the same, to someone who is ignorant of both tongues, surely they would them one in the same if spoken by the same person. As such, I could easily see the Japanese pop group Pizzacotto Five remaking this hit, or perhaps any of them on this album for that matter.

On track 6, Tengo Frio (I'm cold), she sibilantly laments "lonely nights" in English, those two words are enough for me to yearn a whispered wish for fulfillment from her.

After a record number of tracks, this album hit my top 50 list immediately and therefore becomes most certainly a must-buy , 5 star recommendation. However, as great as I make this record sound (because it is) I did have one major disappointment. I received a faulty promo copy that seriously skipped on half of the tracks that said it should be clear that not even such a significant flaw could blemish the appreciation I have acquired for Ely's artistry.

Ely is a Mexican pop-chanteuse who just happens to be performing for free at the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on Friday, August 9 at 7:30 in Park Slope, Brooklyn. If my review wasn't indicative of it enough I say it loud and clear "I highly recommend her music." And I don't believe one needs to understand Spanish to appreciate her artistry. To my great dismay I cannot go to see Ely, even though I once upon a time used to live but two blocks away from the park for four years.

Here is the festival's own write-up:

The explosive Mexican songstress Ely Guerra heads up a mucho picante evening of south of the border grooves. "Only a language barrier separates Ms. Guerra from fans of Portishead, The Cowboy Junkies or P.J. Harvey" - The New York Times. Completing the evening, red hot pan-Latino flair and chilly beats of New York based Si*Sé, and the friendly sonic assault of Jumbo, Monterrey’s tightest rock outfit. This event is presented in collaboration with the Latin Alternative Music Conference & supported by The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and AeroMexico