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Album Review: Ximena Sari̱ana РXimena Sari̱ana

B

Artists

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It’s good to be Ximena Sariñana. An accomplished television and film actress in her native Mexico as well as a platinum-selling Spanish-language recording artist, Sariñana has already met a lot of success at the young age of 25. This summer sees the release of the self-titled Ximena Sariñana, her English-language debut album.

Sariñana’s crossover is aided by help from Lily Allen producer Greg Kurstin and TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, who add a glossy shine to the songs, all written or co-written by the singer. “Different” is an Allen-esque pop piece full of whistled melodies, peppy horns, bouncy digital effects, and a slick production. “Shine Down” has Sariñana singing over a thick bottom layer of distorted synth and guitar. These are great pop numbers, but it’s the variety on display throughout the album that shows Sariñana has more in common with an artist like Kate Bush than with Katy Perry.

The electropop-tinged “Echo Park”could be filed among other current indie electro acts such as Ladytron and Goldfrapp. Sariñana later shows off her pipes in “Bringing Us Down” and “Tomorrow” (her voice has been compared to Chan Marshall’s – this is where you’ll hear it), and then channels her inner Minogue in the dance-hall pop track “The Bid”. She reverts to her native tongue for the delicate “Tu Y Yo”, where she collaborates with her paramour, the Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Sariñana’s range across this disc is impressive, and it’s admirable that she chose to explore it on her crossover debut, rather than gunning purely for potential radio single material.

Sariñana has an excellent voice, and Ximena Sariñana shows she’s also a gifted young songwriter regardless of language. She’s an artist who lives up to all the fanfare she’s received at home, and one worthy of your international attention.

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