By Kathy Pham
Canadian singer Alejandra Ribera is a remarkable musician. From her first song she begins a journey that spans 12 tracks — seven in English, four in Spanish and a single French-English duet. Much like Ribera herself, “La Boca” crosses continents and languages effortlessly. She brought a little piece of Argentina back with her in the title track, “La Boca,” which puts English and Spanish side by side. She creates an infectious chorus in her track “I Want” and ties the album together with quiet heartbreak in “Un Cygne La Nuit” alongside Arthur H. in a song which beckons one to come home.
Underscoring Ribera’s rich and moody voice is an orchestral score that features a strong piano melody alongside acoustic guitar, smatterings of bagpipes and marimba, among other instruments to infuse a touch of uniqueness to each track. “La Boca” isn’t limited by its multilingual nature. Ribera’s haunting melodies have a distinct ability to transcend language barriers and dance across genres.
The must-listen-to tracks on the album are “La Boca,” “Goodnight Persephone,” “I Want,” and “Un Cygne La Nuit.” “La Boca” is a great introduction to the sound of the album, merging two languages into one cohesive track with a strong build up and solid rhythm. “Goodnight Persephone” displays Ribera’s impressive range and includes an expert bagpipe solo. “I Want” is the most pop-inspired song on the album, fusing the acoustic track with a single synth beat and a chorus that will get stuck in your head. “Un Cygne La Nuit” is pure romantic magic — Ribera’s soft notes dovetail perfectly with Arthur’s smooth French accent.
La Boca is not a typical album, but that’s what makes it special. In an age of entertainment where so much music is derivative, Alejandra Ribera has created music that is okay with being itself.