Juanes “MTV Unplugged” CD Review


“Juanes MTV Unplugged” is the Colombian’s 7th recording, and his 2nd Live album. It was recorded “live” at the New World Symphony Center a Miami on Feb 1, 2012.

“Juanes MTV Unplugged” was released by Universal Music Latino in May 29, 2012, and it’s 1st single, “La Señal” was released in March 5, 2012.

There are 3 new songs in “Juanes MTV Unplugged” including collaborations with Spaniard Joaquin Sabina, and with Juan Luis Guerra. Contrary to his last studio recording (“PARCE”), “MTV Unplugged” reached #1 of the Billboard Latin Album charts. Additionally, it debuted in the Billboard 200 at #52, much better than “PARCE” did at #165. The album is co-produced with Dominican Latin music star Juan Luis Guerra.

What I Liked about “Juanes MTV Unplugged”

MTV Unplugged included Brazilian singer Paula Fernandes
Juanes and Paula Fernandes performed a beautiful duet in “MTV Unplugged”

• The musical arrangements of “MTV Unplugged” are wonderful. They are a bit mellower than the original. This worked perfectly with the acoustic “unplugged” format of the live recording.

• The musical execution of the band is excellent. Also, the use of acoustic guitars and acoustic piano is so well done that it makes this album seem fresh. However, that’s until you get to “La Camisa Negra”.

• My favorite songs in this unplugged album format are “Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor” and “Es Por Ti”. I also loved the Juan Luis Guerra & 440-like song “Para Tu Amor”, with hints of “Bachata” with the occasional bongo rips and all. Additionally, I truly enjoyed the fantastic duo with Brazilian singer Paula Fernandes in “Hoy Me Voy”. Here the songs converts from a ballad into a smooth bossa-nova which highlights Fernandes smooth and sensuous singing in Portuguese.

• The sound quality of this album is impeccable. This is not a surprise when it’s a combined product of Latin music veteran stars Juanes and Juan Luis Guerra.

• There is plenty of good Latin music, with 14 songs in total, 3 of them new songs, and 2 duets. It provides a great summary of Juanes’ career. At the same time, it provides a fresh look at what upcoming projects may look like for the Colombian rocker.

Promo Video of “Juanes MTV Unplugged”

Here’s a promo video of the MTV Unplugged, which previews some of its content.

Suggestions About “Juanes MTV Unplugged”

• As I already mentioned, “La Camisa Negra”. As huge a hit as it has been for Juanes, I just don’t like this song, and there is nothing new about it in the acoustic version. If you are in the majority that likes the song, then you’ll be pleased.

Latin music stars Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes
Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes co-produced “MTV Unplugged”

• There is no duet with “MTV Unplugged” co-producer Juan Luis Guerra. I would have loved for Juan Luis Guerra to get on stage with Juanes on the 440-like song “Para Tu Amor”, which would have been a perfect fit for both.

• No songs from Junes’ previous album “PARCE” where included. I think there was space for one of those songs with an acoustic twist.

Note: You can read and see my “PARCE” album review HERE.

• The use of electronic keyboard in a couple of songs undermines the “Unplugged” theme. Someone should make it illegal under the premise of false advertisement to use electronic instruments (perhaps with the exception of the bass) in albums denominated as “unplugged”.

• Some of you may not like the Juan Luis Guerra mellower arrangements in various songs in this album. I have had a couple of friend indicate during some songs that they would have preferred the original, more “rockier” version.

My Recommendation on “Juanes MTV Unplugged”

I totally love this album as you can tell from my comments above. I liked “Juanes MTV Unplugged” musical quality, quality of sound (the new World Symphony Center in Miami obviously has great acoustics and resulted in an ideal venue for a recording), and the mellower adaptation of most songs to the acoustic format.

If you are a Juanes fan, I think you would love this album, although you may need to expect a softer tone on some of Juanes’ original hits.

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