Thursday, January 19, 2012

CD Review: Buika's 'En Mi Piel' [2 CD]

En Mi Piel [2 CD]
Warner Music

Hailing from Spain and born of Equatorial Guinean parents, Buika (pronounced BWEE-kah) is a vocalist with sincerity that seeps through every part of the album. The 2-CD set includes a lively, Spanish-infused concoction of brooding love songs, emotional deliveries, and danceable song structures. En Mi Piel, which means, 'in my skin,' is an evocative title that represents her comfortable and emotive songwriting skills and personal stories. The Spanish-language album contains upbeat tunes on percussion, piano, acoustic guitar, and a variety of strings and horns. The intense vocalizations are more varied than Cape Verde's Lura; not as smooth as Ethiopia's Saba; and almost reminiscent of Uzbekistan's Yulduz Usmanova. At any rate, the writhing percussion and swirling vocals wrap around the listener like the warmth of a Mediterranean sunset. The inviting repertoire is similar to fado or flamenco stylings--both of which are popular music forms in the global music community. The African music links are less than evident on this recording. As a result, fans of European fado and flamenco-type music with a little Andalusian embellishments and jazz will find solace and fun in En Mi Piel. ~ Matthew Forss

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