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This music is dedicated to the Mexican migrants, to the spirits of those who have died crossing the line. Accompanied by pre-Colombian and Mexican folk instruments, Lila Downs' provocative voice and lyrics create powerful music in any language.
Singer-songwriter Lila Downs uses these 15 compositions (both originals and covers) to explore the joys and sorrows experienced by Mexican immigrants who cross the border for a better life only to experience exploitation and racism in this country. A child of a Mixtec Indian mother and Anglo-American father, the talented Downs brings in a fresh perspective from two cultural worlds. She imbues the Mexican cumbia style--which is itself a variation on a Colombian form of dance music integrating Latin, Native American, and African styles--with blues, jazz, and even a little hip-hop as pre-Colombian and Mexican percussion nestles comfortably with strings and electric guitar, piano, and bass. Lila Downs is a wide-ranging singer who passionately expresses her melancholic subject matter without lapsing into melodrama, and with this album she crosses musical borders of her own. --Bryan Reesman
Top customer reviews
Lila is a great singer. She's got the pipes, and she knows how to use them. She's half Mexican Indian, half anglo-American, and grew up first with her singer mother in Oaxaca, then in the U.S. her university professor father. She got her degree in classical vocal music, and she's a fine musician and performer.
I grew up on the Texas-Mexican border in the 1940s and '50s, so I've heard a ton of Mexican music. Lila is right up there with the very best singers and musicians. She doesn't just stick with the old classics, but also writes a lot of new music, some of it with her pianist husband Paul Cohen. Her more recent albums blend in dance rhythms and styles from many other Latin American cultures, and non-Latin as well.