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A Gem From A New and Uncompromising Voice
on May 22, 2004
Lhasa de Sala is a singular voice. For those who had the good fortune to come across La Llorona, her 1997 debut, this should not be news. As much as this album does not follow her first album to the letter -this is quite more diverse in terms of musical forms, choice of instruments and the fact that it contains songs sung in three languages- it is totally consistent with it. The common thread is in the intangibles: the undaunted exploration of her roots, the words and mood of each song in exquisite consonance, and the devotion to be true to herself as an artist. Given all this, the title of Lhasa's second album could not be more appropriate, these are songs of the "living road," not just a personal "journey" but poems of places and intimate realizations, a soul journal rather than a personal diary. This is the work of a young artist yet infinitely mature, at ease with the truth or perhaps urged to tell it, as revealed in La Frontera ("i am the black point that wanders / on the outskirts of luck") or La Confesion ("I put my most pure thoughts up for sale / I want to forget this whole idea of "truth" / I'll keep as my guides only pleasure and guilt"). In many ways, Lhasa is a daughter of Frieda Kalho, both for her loyalty to be just who she is and, you'd understand this if you've seen Frieda's paintings, because the more profoundly Mexican she turns, the more universal she becomes. If the full price scares you, jump on the marketseller's copies -no shame on saving money to bask on its beauty- and when yours arrives, wait 'til it's late and quiet, and play it. Let the words touch you as warm breezes and the immaculately spare arrangements caress you as memories, provide the night and Lhasa will bring the truth. The road lives, and your life will recognize its turns and joys, Then, you may be ready for tomorrow because "soon this space will be too small / and I'll go outside / to the huge hillside / where the wild wind blows / and the cold stars shine."