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Album Review

Yusa's latest album is a celebration of the musical links between her native Cuba and Brazil, and lyrically it's a celebration of the myriad aspects of romantic love. Working in close collaboration with Brazilian producer Alê Siqueira, she has created a lovely if sometimes slightly befuddling album. Ironically, it might have been less befuddling if she had stuck to Spanish rather than writing so many of her lyrics in awkward English — lines like "There's no answer in the room/Just walking heads" and "We both know/Illusions have their own horizon" are more confusing than evocative. But the rich, slightly grainy quality of her alto voice and the gorgeous arrangements more than compensate for the occasional clunky lyric — note in particular the subtle and lovely string section on "Y Te Apareces," the gently chugging rhythm and restrainedly elegant horns on "Conga Pasajera," and the soft counterpoint between Julio Padrón's trumpet and Yusa's voice on "París, Muy Bien." And even if her melodies are sometimes just a bit on the dry side, they grow on you quite nicely as you keep listening. Very impressive overall.


Genre: Latino

Years Active: '00s

Born and raised in the Buena Vista area, now known as Playa, Yusa split her time between her love of music and her love of the sea. Influenced by her father, who was a sailor, Yusa started playing guitar at a young age, moving on to piano and bass lessons. While attending the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory with contemporaries such as Roberto Carcasses, Yusa would often be found performing in school corridors. From there she joined an improvisational jazz quintet called Quasi-Jazz. The group often performed...
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Haiku, Yusa
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