Improve your Spanish listening comprehension and get your dance on with these three albums from musicians across Latin America and Spain.
Let's check out some musicians who sing in Spanish that make it easy for you to understand what they're singing. You're sure to improve your listening comprehension in Spanish by listening to them.
Plus you're sure to get your dance on whether you're sitting at your desk, driving your car, or vacuuming your floor, naturally.
1. Clandestino by Manu Chao (1998)
Manu Chao's album Clandestino is an excellent option to discover music in Spanish. Rolling Stone considers this album one of the best ever.
He sings clearly and slowly and often sings about topics that are interesting and provocative. Also, his music is memorable, and the album is sure to make you want to dance.
Manu Chao is French-Spanish, so in addition to Spanish, he also sings in French and English. If you're a polyglot you'll enjoy hearing all the lyrics.
2. Limón y Sal by Julieta Venegas (2006)
My first Spanish teacher in Peru introduced me to Julieta Venargas's album Limón y Sal. The video for the title track was a lot of fun to watch in class. She had us follow along with the lyrics by filling in the blanks on a worksheet.
So now I recommend that my students listen to Limón y Sal also.
Julieta Venegas comes up with lovely lyrics, with most being pretty romantic. Like Manu Chao, she sings slowly enough that it's easier to catch what she's singing. And her music is light and uplifting.
In addition to the title track "Limon y Sal," two other songs on this album are terrific. "Eres Para Mi" with Chilean singer and rapper Anita Tijoux is a lot of fun. You're sure to be singing along with the chorus with just one listen. "Me Voy" is the most popular song from this album. In fact, it's been Julieta's most successful song ever in her career so far.
Julieta is from Mexico. She won several awards for Limón y Sal, including a Latin Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.
3. Bocanada by Gustavo Cerati (1999)
Gustavo Cerati's wonderful album Bocanada got me singing in Spanish for the first time ever. Before I could ever speak Spanish fluently, I woke up one morning singing a line from the song "Puente."
There's something wonderfully satisfying about finally being able to sing in Spanish before I even could speak fluently. Maybe this will happen to you, too, listening to this beautiful album.
Like the other artists I've listed here, Gustavo sings clearly and slowly enough that even a basic Spanish learner will be able to catch some words and phrases like I did.
For instance, when listening to a song like "Puente," you should be able to catch the chorus, "Gracias por venir" or "Cruz el amor por el puente / Usa el amor como un puente."
Cerati is a legend in his native Argentina and throughout Latin America. He was the lead singer for a famous Argentine band, Soda Stereo, in the '80s and '90s. Bocanada was his first solo album, a perfect mix of trip-hop and psychedelia.
I'm telling you, give this album a try and see if you aren't singing in Spanish by the end.
Join my private Facebook group Conversando en español to practice with fellow Spanish learners and native Spanish speakers.
Jackie Donaldson is the founder and director of Amidon Studios Language Studies. She started Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru for six years. She's taught students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, baking, and exploring the globe.