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Dirty Bailarina by Mala Rodriguez
Released: Aug 2010
Label: Machete Music
La Mala's concept album leans toward science fiction, though the "dirty bailarina" imagery doesn't quite work -- it's both prissy and exotic dancer-esque. But Spain's fiercest female emcee was trying to make a point about being a woman who's serious about her craft and pursues her vision against all odds. Does she succeed? Yes. She sings more and is clearly enamored of electro-pop, but she's still a master technician: A song like "Galaxias Cercanas" proves that this woman can rock the mic with old-school skills. "Patito Feo," with flamenco's Estrella Morente, is quietly massive.
Sarah Bardeen
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