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It's fitting that the classic Jamaican powerhouse of Sly & Robbie provides the backing for "El Aire," the first track on Eljuri's solid American debut album. The song shows that this Guayaquil, Ecuador-born multi-instrumentalist is comfortable playing different styles, going from reggae to Brazilian-inflected ballads to rock and Latin pop. Among the most intriguing tracks included on her latest disc, En Paz, is the guitar-heavy "I Told You Before," a bilingual tune whose lyrics talk about a casual friendship that might have gone too far, going "up and down like a merry-go-round." Another interesting moment takes place on the title track "En Paz," a mellow tune in which she asks for peace so she can sleep without having to keep her eyes open. She draws inspiration from Colombia's genre-busting Aterciopelados (incidentally, her voice resembles lead singer Andrea Echeverri's) both on "Peligrosa" and "Tierras Pobres" by fusing percussive elements of Latin music with alt-rock sensibilities. En Paz is a positive showcase for Eljuri, who leaves listeners wondering how the raw energy she shows on the songs will sound when she finally goes on tour with this material.
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Ernest Barteldes

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