A lot of artists who are just starting out often wonder what it takes to create a solid Launchpad for their career, and it really boils down to several pretty basic qualities that can’t necessarily be taught. The first is having a good image for promoters to market, whether that be an image shrouded in mystery, vulnerability, happiness or depression. You’ve got to have some kind of identity. The second is that you’ve got to have an approach to recording that is unique and with that a sound that is stylish and discernable from other artists in your medium. Very few have one of these qualities by nature, and almost none have both. Esteban Alvarez is one of those very rare few in the latter category.
Alvarez’s cover of Bryan Adams’ iconic “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” is just one slice of mystical glory from his latest album La Bikina, but it could easily be described as the shiniest and most accessible to outsiders. It isn’t a direct cover of the song, instead a bit of a piano-laced rendition heavily influenced by mariachi and accentuated with a classical bend. The resulting product is reminiscent of the original but completely exclusive to Alvarez’s style of recording, which in itself demands a great deal of care when it comes to producing and finishing any track. You can tell that there was a lot of time and effort put into this recording, and it was well worth the pains of labor to render this final piece.
I must admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Latin-flavored music prior to getting into Esteban Alvarez, but that has changed significantly since discovering his tremendously evocative body of work. I’m a hard sell when it comes to cover songs as well, but had I never heard the original version of this song, I probably wouldn’t have even been able to tell that it was a cover to begin with. Alvarez is just such a rare find, such a fine talent, that his sound sort of washes away traces of any other when you take the time to give him your full attention (which I should note, isn’t hard to do in the slightest).
One listen simply isn’t enough when it comes to “Has Amado Una Mujer de Veras,” and I would challenge any music fan out there to take the challenge of listening to this track and resisting the urge to immediately play it over again. Songs like this get listeners excited about the capabilities that music has in affecting our everyday lives for the better. With so much talent and momentum surrounding his current work, there isn’t much doubt that we’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot more from Esteban Alvarez as this song and La Bikina continue to take the pop music world by storm, and to be quite frank I can’t wait to hear what he’s going to create next, whether it be a cover, an original, or something that maybe lies in between like this song.
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