Shaila Durcal – “Shaila Durcal” (2015) Album Review

Sometimes you have to give something a chance, even when you don’t know anything about the album. This morning, I ran to Wal-Mart to pick up a new CD. I went there to purchase the new Mana CD, added Alejandra Sanz’s new album and then I saw Shaila Durcal. I had heard the name and knew she was related to a long time recording artist, Rocio Durcal, but I lacked any knowledge of who she was. I originally thought Shaila was going to be Ranchera, but I grabbed my Spotify app on my phone and sampled a few songs to see if she fell in my pop/rock genre. She did, so I added her to my purchases for the day.

On my first listen, I was torn between thinking it was okay and it was good. My first impression was that she was going the route of Ha-Ash with having a country twang sound. But it wasn’t the case. My second listen, the music started flowing and I paid more attention…a deeper listen. She is pretty mellow and some songs have a decent beat but I don’t see that she is going to hit the club scene with the Spanish songs, the English songs, on the other hand, could. It almost feels like it was made for the older pop fans.

The album contains a few songs in English and a Spanglish song, but her English is so good that it was hard to tell that she is Latino. Those English songs could easily find their way to Clear Channel. I am actually impressed with the English songs. “Come With Me” is probably the song that could cross her over.

Shaila’s voice is strong and commands that you listen to her. Musically, the songs have great beats with underlying hints of her Mexican culture. 6:00 AM is one of my favorite songs and with the traditional horns in the background it reminds me of how La 5a Estacion’s “El Sol No Regresa” combined the Mexican sounds with pop music. On this album, you get the mariachi horns, country violins, and guitars, as well as traditional pop songs with synthesizers and drum, beats all in one song. Overall, Shaila turned out an almost perfect album.

This is my first album of hers that I have listened to and I am ready to go back and see what her previous works sound like. Good job!

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