5.0 out of 5 stars
Modern jazz classic, 8 Dec. 2012
Despite her Grammy recognition following the release of "Chamber Music Society" and her masterful jazz-pop crossover follow-up, "Radio Music Society", this eponymous album, being only her second as a solo artist, remains for me the one that truly showcases the full range of the extraordinary musical talents this girl has to offer.
It could be said that this album is essentially her "Latin" album. The rhythms, harmonies and even lyrics (many of them are in Spanish and Portuguese) are clearly inspired by the diverse musical cultures of Latin America. But to label it as a 'genre' album completely fails to convey the vast range of musical expression on offer. Yes, there is a strong latin vibe running through the album, but there are also dreamy and soulful ballads in the form of "Fall In" and "Espera", infectious and groovy soul-pop songs such as "I Know You Know", "She Got to You" and "Precious" , and frankly dangerous extended improvs/ jazz freak-outs such as those in the downright 'bad' "Mela".
The musicianship of her band-mates on this album should not be understated either. Every individual and group performance is simply world class. All in all, this is a modern jazz classic.
Whilst "Radio Music Society" can certainly be lauded as a skilful and ultimately successful attempt at writing jazz songs in a pop song framework, for anyone looking for a 'catch-all' introduction to Esperanza's music, this is the one to get.