Michele Greene

Luna Roja

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There's no doubting the sincerity of the work on Luna Roja. Michele Greene (more known for her acting than her music) is obviously very earnest about showing her Spanish roots and exposing her music. But she's perhaps too earnest, and, much of the time, simply too polite and nice in her performances. There's very little sense of passion in her singing, even on her cover of Bruce Springsteen's bleakly hopeful "Across the Border." To be fair, she's not blessed with the world's best voice by any means, and as a result, she doesn't convey emotion well. But in arrangements and style, Luna Roja goes for the lighter touch, not taking risks. Much of it is predictable, from the chord changes to the style of guitar solo. The musicians working with her are top-notch (kudos to the bassist in particular), and they make the most of her material. But even so, it's a disc that settles quite happily for pleasant. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but it doesn't make for a lasting artistic statement.