thu 25/04/2024

CD: Buika – En Mi Piel | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Buika – En Mi Piel

CD: Buika – En Mi Piel

This collection of the Spanish singer’s finest songs to date exudes quality

Buika: the Spanish Nina Simone of nu-flamenco

With an expensive-looking camera in one hand and a cigarette in the other, Spanish singer Buika’s sepia-tinted CD cover photo is making eyes at me, making it hard for me to think of a bad word to say about this career-so-far summation. I don’t know about the camera, but that cigarette may well be a valuable tool in Buika’s trade, helping her voice to achieve that sandpaper surface texture.

It’s a voice which perfectly contrasts with the occasionally overly tasteful piano-led arrangements which grace material which embraces flamenco and jazz as well as R&B and Latin dance rhythms.

From a low pleading purr to a full-throated cry, Buika’s voice wraps itself around her material, urging her musicians on to greater things. But her impact is at its most transcendent when the orchestra strings fall away and there’s just that voice soaring and somersaulting above gracefully tinkled piano keys, like a Spanish Nina Simone. The only time she comes undone is on tracks such as “Talk to Me” which utilise more of a 1970s soft soul template and therefore lack the necessary tension. But even these songs benefit from the edge granted to them by that raw, frayed voice.

The queen of nu-flamenco, as she’s being called, is still not that well known in the UK (although you may have heard her on the soundtrack of Pedro Almodóvar’s film La piel que habito). But if you do happen to already own all her previous recordings, there is the previously unreleased “Sueño con ella” (an intimate acoustic guitar-accompanied gem) and “Coma era” (a soul-inflected mid-tempo chunk of flamenco) as substantial temptation to invest in this double CD. However, if this charismatic force of nature is new to you then this choice compilation functions as a perfect introduction.

Watch Buika perform "Por el amor de amar"

From a low pleading purr to a full-throated cry, Buika’s voice wraps itself around her material, urging her musicians on to greater things

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Spectacular ! This woman gives me goosebumps.

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