23 July 2006

The Latin Soul of Destani Wolf (CD Review)

Destani Wolf: Again and Again...
(Brave Wolf)

We first heard Destani Wolf as part of the Latin Hip-Hop group O-Maya, in which her standout vocals blended with beats, Latin roots, soulful pleas for justice ("Nothing Less than Freedom"), and even raps about George Bush ("Mentiroso"). O-Maya has since broken up, in large part replace by AguaLibre, with whom Wolf still performs.

Again and Again...,Wolf's debut solo album, further highlights this talented young woman. It is an apt vehicle for her powerful voice, whether it's the bilingual reggae stylings of "Cecilita," the funky soul of "You Should Know," or the brief-but-sweet a capella "Mind in the Way." Our favorited tracks (given our "world music" leanings) include "Cecilita," "Enchanted Soul (aka Tranquilo)," and the tabla-spiced "De Donde Eres."

Imagine Sade and Lila Downs meeting up in some little-known urban soul club and you'll have some sense of the sound. Wolf frequently performs in the Bay Area, and it wouldn't be surprising to see her find broader success with this strong album.
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