I love this job. One moment you are reviewing a Berlin synth duo, the next a Mid-West shoegaze outfit, and then you find yourself presented with an artist revelling in the sounds of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. Variety, huh?

But variety is the spice of life, as they say, and who wants to be writing about the same old self-important indie band or puffed-up metallers all the time? Not I, that’s for sure. It means that this latest album from Alexandra Dorantes arrives like a breath of fresh air, a blast of the past, painting vibrant pictures of the histories and tales from that wonderful country. A musical sorbet to cleanse the palette.

I don’t speak Spanish, but the best thing about any great singer is that even with the language barrier between us, the voice still comes through as an instrument that imparts emotion and energy, sweetness or sorrow, just through the vocal delivery. Alexandra Dorantes is nothing if not a great singer, and it is hard not to get carried away in the glory of her voice and the drama of the music it dances you across. Who needs language when presented with a singer this good and songwriting this connective?

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a huapango from a sones or a ranchera from a bolero, but that doesn’t matter, that isn’t how music works, and it is just impossible not to get swept away in the sheer emotion, infectiousness, honesty and addictiveness of the musical skills on display here. Even without knowing the lyrical content, you are transported to a small cantina just outside Guadalajara in the mid-20th century, or perhaps even 100 or 200 years earlier, or you feel like an extra in a Luis Buñuel movie, just sitting back and taking it all in. Such is the power and embrace of music.

The album is a riot of musical colour. Brass breezes through the air, firing off epic salvos, strings stir and sway, guitars charm and chime, and then there is that voice….

If, like me, this is a new area of music for you, then prepare to be entranced and carried away to exotic locations. Prepare to be serenaded and seduced. Prepare to dance the night away. Prepare to throw caution to the wind. Prepare to enter, be bewildered, and fall in love with this new sonic dreamland.

When was the last time a pop record did all that to you?

For more information, go to https://www.alexandradorantes.com

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Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.

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