California-based singer Janubia was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Colorado and Massachusetts. Her voice has been compared with Astrud Gilberto, Flora Purim and the like, and when listening to her debut CD Mother Tongue you can't help but agree.
The album title "mother tongue" seems a bit strange when looking at the song titles or listening to the words. Actually, Janubia doesn't sing real words, but vocalizes in her own language, which comes from her heart. It's a completely nonsense language she created as a child when singing for herself.
Today she is joined by two great musicians, Andrew Mills on drums and percussion and Alex de Rafels on guitars, bass and keyboards, and she enchants the audience with her brilliant singing.
The CD opens with "Setah," a breathtaking song in Samba rhythm fused with the sound of a Spanish guitar and Janubia's hauntingly beautiful voice. This mixture of rhythm and harmonic singing makes it my favourite track. Another highlight is "Al Son," which starts with the guitar and Janubia's voice in moderate rhythm. The longer the song gets the more they accelerate the pace of this wonderful Bossa Nova tune. Last but not least I'd like to mention "Pohn Fohn Son," another rhythmic song with melodic singing and a rich instrumentation with guitar, bass, drums and keyboards.
The 10 songs on the CD are a well-balanced mixture of melancholic ballads and rhythmic dance songs. The recording, the musicians as well as the singing are excellent and well worth exploring.
29 September 2007