Tania Libertad

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While Peruvian native (and now Mexican resident) Tania Libertad focuses on Afro-Peruvian music on this release, don't expect anything highly rhythmic, or even reminiscent of countrywoman Susana Baca. Instead she forges her own, often contemplative route, whether on the lovely "Dos Gardenias" or the sweet, gentle pop of "Anda Mareado." She's a singer who brings a mature delicacy to the project, even when her gaze strays from her homeland to Brazil for "Funeral del Labrador" or "Samba Malato/Kike Iturrizago," a laid-back trip along the Copacabana. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most rhythmic pieces here is a traditional Peruvian piece, "La Bruja," where she unleashes a special magic over accordion-dominated music. Moreover, this is a very seductive sound, and in spite of its possibly obscure focus, very accessible to non-Latin ears, as with the gentle ache of "Amaria" or "Fe." Far more than on her last release, Libertad shows herself to be a stunning, understated singer, with the experience to let a song float into the ear, rather than pushing it. Absolutely glorious

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