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May 7, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Juana Molina – Son

Son, the third album from Argentinean actress/songstress Juana Molina, is a gorgeous hour of sound. Blending traditional guitar-based folk with warbling electronic melodies that could have been lifted directly from the Kid A sessions, Son is a beautifully odd hybrid, the lovechild of two distant genres that often share an uncomfortable bed.

As songs are sung in Spanish, the lyrics offer little insight for English listeners into the meaning of Molina’s songs. However, this is where Son’s real strength lies; the combination of her spare, finger-picked guitar melodies with simple campfire drumming and hazy electronic layers communicates a lot more in 30 seconds than most music does in an entire album. It’s somewhat akin to surrealist art; you might not always fully understand the actual theme of the paintings, but hey, what pretty colours.

Son is simultaneously an intimately warm folk foray and a haunting, slightly disorientating electronic trip. For example, the fourth track ‘Un Beso Llega’ combines multi-layered hushed vocals, shifting, minor-key acoustic picking rhythms, phased-out horn samples (that often sound like lazy bees), fragile synth lines, and a few bars of Molina’s best hungry Spanish cat impersonation to form a colourful soup of strange, captivating noise. This weird recipe could very well just fall apart and confound the listener, but instead works its way into your mind and takes firm root.

Son is a rich artistic statement, an album that conveys a grand sense of depth and vision whilst retaining a strong sense of tension and immediacy. It is a crucial work of modern songwriting, and deserves your attention.

Jennifer Love-Hewitt take note, this is how actresses should make music.


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