Less than a year after the release of her self titled debut album, Buika brings us "Mi Nina Lola", a less upbeat and more sentimental collection of songs. There is indeed a big difference between the two records - "Buika" was much more commercial, blending modern R&B arrangements with Latin influences whereas "Mi Nina Lola" has a very traditional Latin influence. Both styles work for Buika, but I sense that her comfort zone is in the latter choice of arrangements which fit her raspy and powerful vocals like a glove.
"Mi Nina Lola" has a beautiful soothing story telling quality to it whilst "Ojos Verdes" allows for drama and emotion in Buika's sensual vocals. "Te Camelo" and its Flamenco guitar add a sense of nostalgia and intensity to this heartfelt recording but the captivating "Ay De Mi Primavera" with its subtle Jazz influenced rhythm, infectious melody and haunting vocals is the most appealing track on her second album. "A Mi Manera" has a chaotic and complex melody in the verses but a beautiful chorus with soft hypnotising vocal harmonies whilst "Nostalgias" has some breath taking Flamenco guitar arrangements which blend so well with Buika's plaintive vocals. "Triunfo" is a pleasing mid tempo song with a strangely familiar chorus with disturbing vocal harmonies. "Buleria Alegre" is a more creative song with lots of variations in its arrangements and melodies, giving it a very original sound. "Loca" has a catchy rhythm and an easy to follow soothing melody. The final track "Jodida Pero Contenta", also included on her first album, is a successful fusion of Latin Jazz and Samba (but I do prefer the original version as it has more panache). The only slight disappointment on this release is "Love", the only track sung partly in English, which has messy vocal arrangements and a bland Jazz background.
With a slightly less commercial influence, "Mi Nina Lola" highlights Buika as a credible Latin artist with a great potential and creativity. This release shows us that Buika is an artist to watch in the future and is starting to become a well respected and successful singer-songwriter.