Album Review: Daymé Arocena - Nueva Era

Daymé Arocena - Nueva Era (Bronswood)
Published in FEEDBACK Magazine, Fall 2015

    Nueva Era is the debut album from Cuban songstress Daymé Arocena and right as the proverbial needle dropped, I was mesmerized. She has an incredibly diverse background which has resulted in a wonderful blend of jazz, Cuban neo-soul, and chants inspired from her Afro-Cuban religion Santeria. Combine these influences with a powerful voice and enchanting charisma and you’ve got Daymé Arocena on this LP. The ten track collection offers a seductive blend of English and Spanish. Even more impressive is how she manages to keep the spotlight on her, despite the remarkable instrumentals. The opening track, “Madres”, clearly reveals her background in religious music with a chilling spiritual and almost tribal feel, while also maintaining a light jazz flavour. However the next track, “Drama”, dives right into sexy jazz tune with some scatting reminiscent of the late Ella Fitzgerald. From there Nueva Era continues to successfully strike a balance between her passionate ballads and her more up-beat, catchy songs like “Don’t Unplug My Body” or “El Ruso”. This LP concludes with another spiritual chant-like song that leaves your ears thirsty for more. Dayme Arocena’s debut is a worldly experience which will appeal to listeners from all reaches of the globe.

Listen/Purchase the album here:

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