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Black Magic Spells 

Wednesday, Apr 1 2009

Santana's "Black Magic Woman" long ago became a classic-rock radio staple easily taken for granted. But in the hands of Mexican-American singer Lila Downs, the song's bruja mystique is restored through her bilingual lyrics and inspired, jazzy arrangements. The song is a centerpiece of her latest album, Shake Away. Her Spanish-language version of Lucinda Williams' "I Envy the Wind" ("Yo Envidio el Vento") is another eye-opener. Other tracks reference the rich cultural heritage of Central America, from the brassy banda of "Skeleton" to the Veracruzan flavor of "Los Pollos."

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Eric K. Arnold


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