Cuban-influenced singer-guitarist Lili Añel is part soul sister, part jazz chanteuse and pure dynamite. With distinct folk and reggae underpinnings, she suggests Nina Simone blended with Joan Armatrading. Indeed, Armatrading’s “Down to Zero” (one of the few exercises in ego deflation that can hold its own against Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”) is the only cover among the 14 tracks that fill Añel’s third disc, the first to provide her full creative control as co-producer. The album might well have been titled Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, as Añel embarks on the musical equivalent of a whitewater-rafting expedition, traveling from the calm romantic idealism of “Between Me” to the stormy pain of “Over You” and wavy trepidation of “Try Again” and “I’m Sorry,” two distinctly evocative perspectives on rekindled love.
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