Juanes, "Yerbatero"

Track Review
Fernan Martinez Communications

When he premieres his new single during the World Cup Opening ceremonies this week, Colombian star Juanes will return firmly to his rock 'n roll roots with a guitar-driven track whose twangy lines are as clearly identifiable as their performer is. Co-produced with Stephen Lipson (Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney), "Yerbatero" is an aggressive departure from the more romance-laden fare of Juanes' last album. At the same time, however, it has tremendous pop appeal and a contagious, danceable beat.

Video: Juanes, "Yerbatero" (In The Studio)

Here, Juanes is unapologetically Juanes. In its rhythm and lyrics, the track is eminently Latin, as he speaks colloquially about the prowess of the local "yerbatero," or medicine man. In instrumentation, "Yerbatero" returns to a rougher, earthier sound, albeit one with unabashedly catchy hooks and chord progressions coupled with surprising elements: a subtle flute on the bridge and an immediately recognizable chorus with a Middle Eastern motif. While the shouts at the end of each chorus line may be a little too gung-ho, it's nevertheless a startling track that stands out from the current lineup of over produced, over-programmed fare that saturates radio today.

Top 10 World Cup Soundtracks

How K'Naan's Song Became Coca Cola's World Cup Soundtrack

U2 Pairs With ESPN, Soweto Choir For World Cup Song

Will World Cup Make South Africa a Touring Hot Spot?

DJ's Mix It Up to Celebrate South African Football

Will 1st South African World Cup Be a Winner for Local Artists?


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.