Genre: Folk; Lead Performer: Juana Molina; Producer (group): Domino

The sleepy-voiced Argentinean folkie creates a hushed, intimate mood on her third American release, Son. Juana Molina’s far from a typical guitar-strumming coffeehouse crooner, though. She not only sings in Spanish, her jittery digital percussion and off-center arrangements add a twist to the proceedings. For instance, ”Micael” starts as a luminous ballad but ends as a syncopated Latin percussion jam. Other unexpected moments include the woozy synth squiggles of ”Malherido” and the chirping birds opening ”La Verdad.” Multitracking herself on cuts like ”No Seas Antipática,” Molina turns her thin pipes into a stunning wall of sound. Even for Anglos, the spellbinding Son needs no translation.

Originally posted May 19 2006 — 12:00 AM EDT

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