The second album from Cuban singer-songwriter Daymé Arocena benefits from her recent experience as a traveller. It means that while her songs are undoubtedly centred in Cuba, there are touches of western influence, most notably in the English language songs ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and ‘It’s Not Gonna Be Forever’. These are curiosities that feel a bit out of place, but might well be a good way to pull  in a different audience. There is much to reward them elsewhere too, with the lithe groove of ‘La Rumba Me Llamo Yo’ spearheaded by piano, the languid guitar working a treat in ‘Todo por Amor’, or Arocena’s heady vocals complementing the driving bass of ‘Eleggua’. Still in her mid-20s, Daymé Arocena makes highly expressive music that looks set to blossom in the folds of Gilles Peterson’s label – the best place she could possibly be. Other than Cuba of course!
Ben Hogwood
4 out of 5