Itty-Bitty Review: ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! - Andrés Salguero


I'm not sure what the demand for Spanish-language kids music is, but the supply is once again full.  Three or four years ago, the market was flooded by Spanish-language music that was essentially bilingual early education (songs about numbers, fruits, and colors) and, whatever its educational value, was often low in musical distinctiveness.  That tide has receded, but there may be a new wave of Spanish kindie in which the main purpose is in making fun music for kids that just happens to be (mostly) in Spanish.

Andrés Salguero offered up his entry in this second wave, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!, earlier this year.  Compared to the mostly indie-pop and rock sensibilities of his compatriots (Lucky Diaz, Moona Luna, the releases from Spain's Minimusica), Salguero takes a different approach, as his album features 10 different songs in 10 different Latin American musical styles.  From "Los Colores" (a mellow bachata, popularized in the Dominican Republic) to "La Clave" (a percussion-driven -- of course -- Cuban/Puerto Rican salsa tune), Salguero samples Latin America's rich musical heritage.  His most ambitious song is "Daddy Was a Migrant Worker," a Norteño song which takes the rural, ballad form and applies it to the type of narrative to which the Norteño and corrido form often applies.  I tended to find Salguero's music (both the melodies and their performance) more sophisticated than his bilingual lyrics, which often lean towards to the basic and educational.

The 32-minute album will be most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 6.  (Listen to the album here.) ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! is a welcome complement to the indie-rock sound of much new Spanish kids' music.  (I say that even as someone with a natural indie-rock bias.)  I look forward to hearing more from Salguero in the future as he takes his songwriting skills and tells stories for, and celebrates lives of, children from many different backgrounds.  Recommended.