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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Yusa

By Tad Hendrickson
Published August 22, 2008

Haiku
Tumi Music

One would have to dig pretty deep to find a Latin singer who doesn’t sing about the power of love and romance, and this Cuban singer-songwriter certainly wouldn’t be one of them. Here on her third studio album, Yusa once again wears her emotions on her sleeve with (translated) song titles like “I Have No Other Place,” “Suddenly You Appear” and “So Much Of Me.” Rather than bringing the fire, though, Yusa and Brazilian producer Alê Siqueira choose to let her feelings simmer in an understated mix of light bossa novas, confessional Afro-Cuban-tinged folk songs, sambas, MPB, and salsa. Highlights include the playful celebration of music called “Gente Simple,” the soulful English language ballad “Walking Heads,” and the jazzy “No Tengo Otro Lugar.” About the only real complaint is that the album’s 10 tracks leave it feeling a little short, but that just means you have to start at the beginning again.