En Este Momento is the third album from Cordero, a mash-up of Latino influences and indie-rock sensibilities. I picked it up after three or four listening station spins at Criminal
Records. The first three times I put it back, opting for something trendier or hotter or whatever, but I kept coming back to the Cordero carousel every trip in. The matadorial opening bars of the opening title track, the silky smooth lingering haunt of Ani Cordero's voice lilting across in hardly understood Spanish, the near subliminal hook of bass whirling in late in bar two, all of it kept dragging me in time and again. I eventually gave in and took Cordero home.
The album breaks down about half and half between Spanish and English lyrics. The Spanish language tunes are generally my favorites. The English pieces, especially the ones with the coronet overlays, are solid themselves, but I find myself more enraptured when I understand only every fifth word or so. The little layer of romance language is like a light sugar dusting that makes the treat that much better. With that said the best 20 seconds on the album is the intro to track two, Heart In Me, a suave little bass line underpinning Chris Verene's swash-buckling tom-tom work with the aforementioned coronet sauntering in as a lead for Ani Cordero's vocals. Great stuff. The lyrics are a little weak which is why I'd prefer they too be sung in Spanish. Can't tell they're less than stellar if you can't understand them at all.
Come On Dear is probably the album's most fully realized pop song, barely registering on the "hey, this is sort of Spanishy" scale. The walking bassline here is more Americana than anything from south of the border. Matadora and La Piedra drift back into the Latino vibe and round out a very solid first half. The second half drags a bit, but Maria Elisa and Mama Ven A Buscarme are solid tunes.
All in all I'm happy I finally took Cordero home. They provide a nice break from run-of-the-mill indie pop, creating an atmosphere above and beyond their contemporaries. Excellent for unwinding after a rough day or passing an hour or so of a cross-country flight.