Friday, November 28, 2008

Amaia Montero, "Quiero Ser" and La Oreja de Van Gogh

The new single off the new album by one of my favorite singers, Amaia Montero of Spain, formerly the lead singer for the group La Oreja de Van Gogh.

Here below is the official video version of "Quiero Ser" (what's up with the cotton field?). This video makes you think she might be singer about a human partner (who we don't see), or about God, or maybe her dog. Cleverly done video, I would say. There's a corn field, too.

La Oreja de Van Gogh also has a new album out, A Las Cinco En El Astoria, with their new lead singer, Leire Martínez. You can see their video of the song "El Último Vals". (Embedding disabled, so you have to go to YouTube to watch it.) The video does an interesting split-screen story that's a bit like something out of a parallel-universe sci-fi picture, though with no special effects. It follows the singer as she makes slightly different small decisions in each of the separate frames, which wind up leading her in dramatically different directions.

This is a video of Amaia with La Oreja de Van Gogh singing "Rosas" in 2004 at the Gala "Miss España". The video isn't the best, but the sound is good. It also shows their concert style when she was with them. I love this song.

And here's a video with Leire Martínez doing the same song:

I think Amaia's version is clearly better. But I'm impressed at seeing Leire do the song. La Oreja de Van Gogh is a very well-known and popular group in Spain. And taking on one of their signature songs that was fronted by Amaia before takes some gumption. The one time I saw them live (with Amaia), they played for basically two full hours. So they probably need to do some of their older songs for their concerts. It just makes sense. But it's tough when the originals were popularized with a distinctive singer.

Both of them use beautiful Castilian Spanish, e.g., pronouncing "vez" as "veth", or "feliz" as "felith", or "accepte" as "akthepte".

Amaia has a very distinctive voice which is very recognizable in her solo song. But there's a tone to "Quiero Ser" that different from most of her songs with La Oreja de Van Gogh, upbeat and breezy but with an underlying sadness.

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