Andres Salguero Makes A Huge First Impression On His Debut LP

Courtesy: Salsana Records

Courtesy: Salsana Records

Andres Salguero has officially added his name to the still very short list of the year’s best new children’s albums in his debut record 1,2,3 Con Andres. 1,2,3 Con Andres is such an impressive work because it’s more than just another Latin record. Salguero teaches young listeners a variety of lessons throughout the course of his album. From the lessons on cultural diversity and tolerance in the album’s opener to the lesson on the different members of the mariachi band to the semi-political statement that is ‘Daddy Was a Migrant Worker’, Salguero offers so much both musically and lyrically to listeners on this album. These songs and those not mentioned each offer something different that collectively make this record one that every parent, teacher, and child will enjoy no less with each listen.

Andres Salguero’s debut album is such an impressive work because it is more than just another Latin record.  It is a record that teaches valuable lessons first and foremost.  It just so happens that those lessons are set against a backdrop of Latin music.  Right from the album’s opener, ‘Hola Amigo’, Salguero presents two important lessons in one set against a musical backdrop that while not necessarily Latin, does sound Latin thanks to the mix of the music and Salguero’s vocal style.  That will be discussed later.  It is just as important to the song as the song’s simple yet so deep lyrics.  Speaking of the song’s lyrical side, all three verses of this song make such powerful statements without saying much.  He writes in the song’s second verse, “If you speak German or Japanese/It doesn’t make any difference to me/If you speak Arabic, Chinese or French/We can all just be friends.”  The song’s first and last verses are both similar to this verse in terms of their positive message.  The collective messages of friendship and tolerance regardless of one’s language or where they come from are just as important for young listeners as they are for adults.  Adults can be just as cruel to one another as anyone else.  So even they could take away something from this song.

The dual message incorporated into this song sets the tone for what Salguero offers his listeners throughout the rest of this record.  From here, he goes on to offer a variety of lessons that apply both inside and outside the classroom and that will reach both young listeners and adults.  The musical side of ‘Hola Amigo’ also sets the album’s tone in its own way.  It’s the only song on the album that incorporates a non-Latin sound for its musical backing.  He uses a reggae backing as the song’s base.  Interestingly enough, his own vocal style set against the reggae vibe creates something of an Afro-Cuban vibe which is in itself directly related to Latin music.  So to that extent, one could actually argue that while reggae isn’t necessarily Latin, the end product is in a roundabout way Latin.  And because of that , it actually plays into the song’s lyrical theme perfectly.  It shows how even two different musical styles can “talk to one another” and “get along.”  Salguero is definitely deserving of credit for that.  There is so much more going on in ‘Hola Amigo’ than just the music and lyrics for which Salguero deserves credit.  But it would take far too much time for one person to delve into everything going on in this one song.  So from here, we move on to another of the album’s many high points in the form of ‘If I Had a Mariachi.’

‘If I Had a Mariachi’ is a high point because there is just as much going on in this piece as there is in the album’s opener.  On the surface, the song teaches listeners about the various musicians and instruments that make up a mariachi band.  Each instrument is highlighted in the song.  And it goes without saying that the entire lesson is set to the classic style of music for which mariachi bands are known.  This is its own great lesson.  On a deeper level, Salguero sings this song both in English and Spanish as with the album’s other songs.  It isn’t the only song in which audiences get to hear it in both languages.  This is important in that in its own right, it serves as a great foundation in teaching foreign language (especially Spanish) to young audiences.  It becomes even more important considering the number of individuals living in America that speak one Spanish dialect or another.  It is incredible to note Salguero’s ability to tie so much into one song yet make it so simple.  It’s yet another piece proving why 1,2,3 Con Andres is such a joy of an album.

Both ‘Hola Amigo’ and ‘If I Had a Mariachi’ are wonderful examples of what makes Andres Salguero’s debut album one of the year’s definite best new children’s albums.  There is at least one more song on this record that shows what makes it so important and enjoyable.  That example comes in the album’s penultimate piece, ‘Daddy Was a Migrant Worker.’  This song will especially resonate with older audiences because of its cultural relevance.  Migrant workers have been largely targeted in the still hot button issue of illegal immigration.  Salguero doesn’t directly tackle the issue of illegal immigration here.  But he does note how hard his parents worked in the fields as migrant workers when he was a child, picking the crops that would end up in the stores for people to buy and eat.  It might not have been his direct intent to make a statement through this song.  But it could be interpreted as a social and political statement in response to everything going on; a peaceful protest of sorts much in the vein of music from the 1960s and 1970s.  That is yet another aspect of the song that makes it so rich.  It’s that richness that makes this song, those previously noted and those not noted so enjoyable.  And together, each of the songs collectively make 1,2,3 Con Andres all the richer and one of the absolute best children’s albums of 2014.

1,2,3 Con Andres will be available April 22nd.  Parents, teachers, and children alike can find out more about his album, tour, and more online at http://www.123andres.com and http://www.facebook.com/123conandres.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

2 thoughts on “Andres Salguero Makes A Huge First Impression On His Debut LP

  1. Phil,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I’m so honored and humbled by your careful listen. When I was doing “Hola, Amigo,” I was drawn to reggae in part because I wanted to acknowledge the influence of the Caribbean. Not all of the Caribbean is Spanish-speaking and “officially” Latin American, but we’re all hermanos anyway. However, I never picked up on what you mentioned – that using a reggae beat in a Spanglish song underscores the message that “we can all get along” – until I read your piece! It’s wonderful to have someone else hear the music and make new connections.

    I’m especially happy that you liked the Mariachi song, because we just released the music video this week. It’s at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh07WlFIMuU Hope you like it!

    I’ll be sure to let you know if I have any plans to travel to NC, and thanks again!

    – Andrés

  2. It was entirely my honor to listen to your debut album and review it. It is a wonderful fit both in the classroom and the living room. I was amazed by its depth and simplicity all in one. I wish I had had more time to go into everything on which I picked up throughout the record. Suffice it to say, while the year is still young, this record is certain to make my final list of the year’s best new children’s albums at the year’s end. Thank YOU to you and to Elizabeth at Waldmania PR for the opportunity to experience this wonderful musical work. I know your audiences will appreciate this album just as much.

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