Como Yo (2007) – Juan Luis Guerra

Juan Luis Guerra in 2007 with his 5 Latin Grammy awards

The songs from one of Latin America’s most successful music artists Juan Luis Guerra are coming thick and fast here at the Music Library Project. What entails the ‘Music Library Project’?
It’s not surprising given the vast discography of excellent music which has become well and truly embedded in Latin culture. From my experience, there is no other singer-songwriter who gets more airplay on the radio, and today’s song Como Yo (Like Me) is one of his most popular hits.

Unlike the previous 3 songs to feature here which all came from the landmark 1990 album Bachata Rosa, Como Yo is from Juan Luis’ 2007 5 times grammy award-winning album – (The Key to My Heart). The night before the Latin Grammy Awards, he received the Academy’s Person of the Year Award for his contribution to Latin music and for his philanthropy. Here in Colombia La Llave de mi Corazon sold 17,000 copies in just 3 days of being released. Como Yo reached No 21 on US Latin Tracks.

Look, I’ve seen Plácido Domingo sing in Rigoletto
From Beethoven Fidelio and the Nine Symphonies
Brandenburg Concerts and a Muscovite Choir
But nothing compares to your pretty face

How I love you, how I long for you
If you are not here, I do not know how to live
How I love you, how I long for you
If you are not here, I am not happy, oh no no

Look, I’ve seen Monet’s Agapanthus at the MOMA
I have seen the works of Van Gogh and Picasso
exhibited The Foliage of Cézanne and the Mona Lisa
But nothing compares to your pretty face

(Loose english translation)

I really like the upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and animated delivery in contrast to the desperate lyrics. A lot of the great music in history has this juxtaposition between the melody and words. It grabs the listener straight off the bat and it’s hard not to feel uplifted by it at least based on my listening experience. In contrast to the Bachata style of music from the 3 previous entries, Como Yo has a more commercial Latin Pop sound. In fact, it is better described as part of the Merengue genre of music which like the Bachata also originates from the Dominican Republic where Juan Luis is from. What distinguishes Merengue music from other styles is how I have described it above – upbeat and rapid tempo and festive atmosphere.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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