World/Reggae | On The Record
March 1, 2012
Lila Downs's finely tuned penchant for theatrics and her polyglot appreciation for Latin styles have always been both her greatest assets and her potential downfalls, her magnificent reach perpetually threatening to topple the whole experiment. But on this collection of classic ranchera covers and originals, she may have finally got it all balanced. You want telenovela-worthy drama? Check the sobbing hoots of "Tu Cárcel" or the circusy waltz of "Dios Nunca Muere." You want range? Ms. Downs offers pop, bachata, regional Mexican, folkloric, hip-hop, rock and even klezmer. It's all perfectly crafted and glued together with her warm, thick voice.
The best selling jazz album in history, Kind of Blue sounds better with each passing year. Miles explores modal improvisation with pianist Bill Evans, saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley and other top-flight talents. This musical voyage proves that "relaxing" music can also possess incredible depth. This 50th Anniversary edition comes with alternate takes and studio chatter plus an entire disc of other material the group performed together. You can't get any better than this.