Luke James
Luke James

CLUNK Magazines chief album review guy and a lover of cats!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Label: ANTI-Records

‘Una Rosa’ is the third album from Latinx artist Xenia Rubinos. It’s been five years since her last album ‘Black Terry Cat’ and while Xenia’s last album leant on live drums and felt like a smooth r’n’b album, ‘Una Rosa’ sees Xenia take a slight change in direction to the left field.

It’s clear from the title track that opens the album proper, that this is no straightforward album. With Xenia’s vocal melody following a lone flute, a fat wandering bass note creeps in accompanying some synth, almost signifying the change in style. It’s not until ‘Ay Hombre’ that any singing enters the mix and it comes in heavily autotuned against thumping electronic drums and ringing keyboard. This slides in to a slight change with stabbing keys and a backing track where sounds and drums drift in and out. It’s already a marked difference to Xenia’s work only three tracks deep.

There are tastes of Xenia’s earlier sound in the smooth r’n’b/jazz fusion of ‘Cógelo Sauve’ and the smooth electronic take on lounge in ‘Don’t Put Me in Red’. To pick this album apart would take far more words than I could put in to this review. There are textures, layers and style changes in ‘Una Rosa’ that will keep you guessing and reveal new things each time you go back and listen.

At the core of ‘Una Rosa’ is Xenia’s love for r’n’b and jazz but she is taking it in a new direction and creating a new sound that is equal parts beautiful and intriguing. With ‘Una Rosa’, you feel like you’re at the beginning of a new path for Xenia Rubinos and it’s a path I will happily watch her explore.