In the first announcement of next year's Womad acts last month, this Mallorca-born singer stood out against Kiwi pop princess Kimbra and Americana retro-roots musician Pokey LaFarge as the most recognisably "world music".

But hold hard, because although she currently works a dramatic flamenco-fusion or sultry soul style, the Miami-based singer (who also has a flat in Brighton) was once a Tina Turner impersonator in Las Vegas.

So she's come to her current styles through a circuitous path. But it seems to have worked because she's picked up a Latin Grammy and has been likened - wrongly - to Nina Simone.

Here on her eighth album she includes an ill-advised, overly emotional treatment of Billie Holiday's Don't Explain and a mindless flamenco/piano-funk treatment of Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitte Pas, which suggest she may still be finding her musical compass. But when she gets things right - the rippling flamenco-blues of Siboney and moving In Her Family - or dials back the desire to impress, her smoky and emotional vocals really connect.


However, on the 13 songs here - jazz guitarist Pat Metheny featuring on the spacious No lo se - she still sounds an artist in transition.




Interesting if unfocused album from a Womad guest

Click here to buy La Noche Mas Larga by Buika

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- TimeOut /