Ramiro Burr -- San Antonio Express-News
SAN ANTONIO -- Pop star Paulina Rubio goes for a harder-rock feel on her latest CD, "Ananda."
It's a definite departure from what fans anticipated. Many expected Rubio would at least inject some overtones of reggaeton or Duranguense, two of the hottest genres in recent years. Even top stars such as Shakira, Alejandro Sanz and the Kumbia All Starz have incorporated these rhythms into their music.
Instead, Rubio says she was influenced by the teachings of yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda, and she opted to collaborate with familiar names from the rock world -- Juanes, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Julieta Venegas -- as well as Latin alternative producers Gustavo Santaolalla, Rick Wake, Toy Hernandez (of Control Machete) and Cachorro Lopez.
"Every moment is different on the CD, for the energy and essence that each one of them brought," Rubio said in a news conference on the day she launched her 2007 "Love, Light & Sound" tour at Houston's Verizon Wireless Theater.
"This was an album produced by friends, with artists I admire, and who gave me their space and time.
"We have done very beautiful songs with them. I am growing as an artist and as a woman and this is reflected on these songs."
Highlights of her new album include "Mienteme Una Vez Mas," whose dark tones, blazing guitars and tempo changes evoke Evanescence, and "Que Me Voy a Quedar," a breezy tune with jangly guitars that trips along with optimistic exuberance. Neither tune would sound out of place on college radio -- except for the language.
Even the slower ballads like "N.O." and "Sin Final" bristle with ringing guitars and angry bass lines.
More than a dozen producers and engineers are credited on "Ananda's" 13 tracks. Generally, the more chefs there are in the kitchen, the more likely the result will be mush. It becomes impossible to point the finger of blame, or assign credit.
But each track on this CD is interesting and intriguing, though styles sometimes change from song to song. For example, the sing-along, guitar-heavy rock tune "Ni Una Sola Palabra" is distinct in tempo and tone from the vallenato and tropical flavored "No Te Cambio," written by Colombian singer Juanes. Elsewhere, Velvet Revolver's Slash contributes a solo to the self-affirming "Nada Puede Cambiame."
"The music is very varied, like me, multifaceted, where each song has its own personality," Rubio said. "And the concept is love and happiness. 'Ananda' means happiness" in Sanskrit.
Rubio raises the environmental flag on "Ayudame," a bubbly pop-rock song on which she pleads for help in reducing world climate change.
This week, Rubio will appear on MTV's "Mi TRL" to debut the new video for "Ayudame."
"Coti (Sorokin) and I wrote that song," she said. "And it has different messages. It is a story of love, but we also injected a little consciousness about Mother Earth. We wanted people to know about how the planet is becoming warm, that we have much responsibility. We start the video with a mythical view of the world where the Earth is dry, the rivers and lakes are dry, and the seas are shrinking.
"It is a little exaggerated, but we wanted to increase the awareness of the little ones, the adolescents and of course, the adults. That video will provide plenty to talk about." http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/newsbyid.asp?id=66123&cat=Arts+%26amp%3B+Entertainment+News&more=%2Fentertainment%2F