If I asked you who your favorite Latin virtuoso guitarist is, you’d probably say it’s Carlos Santana. Before discovering Eljuri, that would’ve been my answer too. With a multicultural upbringing, influences from multiple genres and styles, and total mastery of both guitar and vocals, Eljuri brings forth her latest studio album “Reflexión”. I enjoyed listening to this album before its release, so let me tell you how well it holds up.
The opening track “Espejo” brings some cool funky and jazzy vibes along with strong percussion and sets the mood for how strong the rest of the record will be. There is an interlude in the middle of the song where Eljuri flaunts her soloing abilities before giving us a bridge and one final energizing chorus. The amazing pedals and effects she uses help make the guitar tone brilliant, and the thumpy bass ties the rhythm section and the melodies together. The second track “Salva La Tierra ” follows a similar mood, with the addition of some clapping sounds to the percussion that make this song’s chorus cooler and more dancy. The solos here are more complex than those of the previous track too. It seems Eljuri won’t hold back down on any track. Track number 3 “La Voz” shows more typical reggae and reggae-fusion elements. It begins with the Spanish guitar and a brass section, accompanied by a piano that immediately makes you feel like you want to grab a salsa partner and dance along with them. It has strong Enrique Iglesias vibes. What I love about it most was the melodic solo that goes along with the piano and melodic vocals so much. The fourth track, “Home”, an English one for a change, showcases Eljuri’s emotional singing as she longs for “The city that I call home”. The frailty and passion of her phrasing don’t compromise the power and accuracy of her pitch. She has a great command of the middle part of her middle range, which gets me inclined to believe she is a mezzo-soprano. This one has one of the record’s most emotional solos ever. With word-painting and shredding section at the end, it sent shivers down my spine. Track number 5, “Shelter”, starts off with a highly distorted guitar and rock n roll vibes. The vocals have a lighter tone and added percussions feel like they preserve the genre and style of the album, even if it’s presented in a more rock-ish spectacle.
The sixth track “Llévame” has the best drum patterns of the whole album in my opinion. There is a part right before the guitar solo where the drummer plays some amazing hammer blasts in an odd-time signature, but it’s so subtle that you will feel like there is no change at all. Track 7, “Por Ti”, is my favorite track on the whole record, as it has all the beautiful elements I was looking forward to from the record. This track has the sexiness of a pop-rock anthem, the multi-layers of the fusion genre and the clever use of distorted guitar and brass lines which mimic each other. There’s a great chance you’ll find yourself chanting “Todo es por ti” for a few days after hearing it. Track 8, “El Día”, begins with a keyboard line that screams 80s. It’s more of an 80s pop song but the added percussion and banjos keep the fusion genre intact. I love the sweet calm interlude in the middle where Eljuri uses haunting vocals in her head voice, which leads to a beautiful and melodic solo. This lady decided she will transport the fusion genre into 80s pop-rock and her instruments obeyed her command. The following track “No Puedo Cruzar” is a slower one, in which a wah pedal is used on the guitars and some horns and ethereal vocals interplay during the verses. Another beautiful quality it has is the use of clapping percussion. This track will appeal to the fans of the popular band Magic! The tenth track “Feeds You” begins with a cool bassline and has a catchy chorus with an overall poppy feeling. Another melodic solo plays followed by the pre-chorus and chorus and some amazing horns. The eleventh track, “El Camino”, is another one of those dance numbers. It begins with a vocal riff and its verses are just the percussion with those haunting and sexy vocals. Unlikely as the comparison may sound, Eljuri sounds a lot like Rock n Roll legend Ann Wilson on this track, all while keeping her Latino and pop style which is incredible and fresh-sounding. This is one I’d play on a road trip or on a vacation at the beach with my friends. The twelfth (bonus) track, “Keep It Up”, has some more keyboard lines and some more melodic guitar playing. It was a nice addition to the roster of already awesome songs but brought nothing new to the table.
In conclusion, the album is an amazing love letter to Latino, rock, RnB, and a multitude of other genres and influences that Eljuri has masterful command over. The only downside to this record would be the similarity that some of the melodic solos have. I wished there was a bit more experimentation with them, but that doesn’t take away from their strong kick and powerful impact. This is an album that will definitely be a killer in live performances and club raves, and the guitar mastery will draw in many different types of music fans. Tracks like “Por Ti” and “Salva La Tierra” will most definitely become regulars on my playlist, and I will follow Eljuri and hopefully catch her on tour to feel how those tracks sound in a live setting.