Irene Farrera


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A live album was a good move for Irene Farrera. It gives her a chance to react with a live crowd and show the true abilities of her remarkable backing band, Venezuela Viva. Her low voice, almost masculine at times, gives a powerful sensuality to the lyrics, especially a romantic piece like "Soy de Ti," which she wrote herself (along with several other pieces here). It all really clicks into gear on the third track, "Principe Caribe," where the band takes flight on a beautiful guitar solo and a violin that reaches the stratosphere, and from there the audience reaction is stronger, most especially on the familiar "El Brujo de la Sabana." They sigh and cry with her on the emotive material, like the aching "Despedida," and she carries them home quietly on "Sabana -- Tonada de Luna Llena." She's a masterful performer, with some brilliantly sympathetic backing and a wonderful sense of pacing -- and of Venezuelan music. Strongly rooted in more traditional Venezuelan music, even offering her own version of the old "La Bella Tamunangue," Farrera uses instruments from the culture, bringing them into her music and making for a wonderful union of past and present.

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