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on March 23, 2001
It's amazing what happens when artists (re-)connect with things that are really valuable and meaningful to them. With "Mi Tierra" Gloria got back to the Cuban side of her Hispanic heritage and produced a milestone album. With "Abriendo Puertas" she mines the huge wealth of Colombian music to produce a gem.
Open-minded Estefan fans are in for a treat. The songs are based on different local styles, as the liner notes usefully explain. There's an amazing variety of rhythms - all irresistible. The melodies are catchy and Gloria delivers them with her customary warmth and assurance.
You don't need to understand the words in Spanish to enjoy this joyful music, but it's a real bonus if you do. It's notionally a seasonal album but unlike so many this one goes beyond the cliched trappings (chestnuts roasting, jingle bells etc.) and really connects with what the festive season is really be about - reconciliation, new beginnings, generosity, shared memories and good times together.
"Abriendo Puertas" is perfect for any day of the year when body and soul need a little refreshment. GLORIOUS!!
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on December 29, 1999
"Abriendo Puertas" just edges out "Mi Tierra" as Gloria's best album to date. (Both of those albums would be on my very short list of the best albums anybody released in the 1990s.) "Abriendo Puertas" ("Opening Doors") fuses a variety of Latin and Caribbean styles into something new, positive, and exciting. It is an outstanding concept album, greater as a whole than the sum of its parts. Gloria's singing is terrific here. Her greatest strength as a vocalist is her ability to effortlessly dance her voice through complicated rhythms that would stop other divas with greater range and purer voices cold. What also makes this album so special are the highly creative, challenging, energetic charts by Kike Santander, the just-right and seamless production of Emilio Estefan and Kike Santander and sound achieved by recording engineer Eric Schilling, and... wow... the searing performances by Gloria's band and backup singers. Everything is firing on all cylinders here. Don't shy away from this album just because you don't speak Spanish. (I don't.) You don't need to speak Spanish to understand and appreciate the vibrant energy and positive message of this CD.
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on December 6, 2001
Abriendo Puertas is the second of Gloria's three Spanish CDs, but the last I became familiar with. At first I was disappointed as it seemed less "serious" and "cutting edge" than Mi Tierra or Alma Caribena, but increased familiarity has revealed its considerable charms.
This is a holiday (Christmas and New Years) related album, but not really a Christmas album as such. All the songs are based on Latin dance rhythms and represent the kind of high spirited festival music that is popular at that time of year. This is as much composer/arranger/instrumentalist Kike Santander's album as Gloria's-- he has written 10 relentlessly upbeat, wonderfully arranged songs, inventive and polished to perfection. The details of the songs are quite wonderful, and Gloria's singing is ideal for this idiom.
This is really a great album to put you in a good mood, as well as for appreciating top of the line musicanship. The Gold Star award for the songs must go to "Felicidad", which is just that, and the impossibly infectious "Tres Deseos", (try and play it just once!).
All together, Gloria Estefan's 3 Spanish CD's are a real achievement, and prove that her real talent is in her Latin heritage, and not in the rather ordinary English language albums she is more famous for.
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on January 17, 2002
Gloria's second Spanish release has to be her most exciting (along with 1998's Gloria!) The songs have a very authentic Latin sound. It's almost like she took the last song from Mi Tierra and continued on with the songs on Abriendo Puertas.
The songs have a New Year's and Christmas theme, with messages about starting over, sending good wishes, as well as about just having fun. "Mas Alla" is the softest number, so lovely it brings a tear to your eye. "Farolito" is the most interesting, because of its tribal blend of chanting and rhythmic hand claps.
There are many different Latin and Caribbean styles, which Gloria has written about prior to the lyrics of each song. She tells what styles you'll hear in the particular song, where they come from, and the instruments that are used to get a particular sound.
This one isn't translated like her two other Spanish CD's are. So, even though you may not get the lyrics, the message of loving life is clear throughout the entire CD.
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on May 14, 2000
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on August 17, 1999
Abriendo Puertas is a very up-beat, fast, and groovy album. Whether you understand Spanish or not, you will be satisfied with this album. I ordered this album in July, and I do not speak one word of Spanish (being from Canada, I know French) but now I find I have this album on when I am driving in the car. The title track is very uplifting, and the second, Tres Deseos makes you wanna boogy! This is a definate MUST-HAVE for any music fan!!
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on December 5, 1999
A wonderful, mostly upbeat CD. Great latin music and Spanish lyrics. A safe bet.
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on September 18, 1999
Para mí es el mejor trabajo de Gloria junto a Mi Tierra. Creo que no son solo canciones para Navidad, son buenas para cualquier ocasión.
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on May 7, 2009
On this of her many albums, Gloria Estefan truly excels. She had long since proven herself the master of creative, exciting and extremely catchy numbers, as well as more than a few great and memorable love songs, but this collection shows without question that she has amazing cultural and familial depth as well. A fascinating, "pegajoso" and beautiful line-up of upbeat material--no fan of the Miami Sound Machine should be unaware of this side of its moving force. My wife and I have listened to the album countless times now, and we have yet to tire of it. Viva la Gloria!
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on August 23, 1998
This is a great CD for people with latin origins that can not be there during the holidays. Maybe the non-latin listeners would not understand why this would be a holiday album, but this is the upbeat music that is listened to on the Caribean latin countries during the holidays along with the xmas carols and others. I for one, love to listen to "Tres Deseos" before and during the new year party, It gets your spirit going to start the new year with energy. You can play this CD at any time, but always will be special during the holidays....
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