Co Xenio Destrozado
(With a Broken Spirit)
Never judge a CD by its cover. When I first laid eyes on the cover for Galician folk musician Ses (Maria Xose Silvar)’s sophomore album With a Broken Spirit, I thought I would be greeted by hard rock music. Thankfully, the CD features delightful Spanish folk music and no hard rock. While Ses provides a few old-style rock and roll songs towards the end of the CD, clearly her forte is the folkloric material that resembles Mexican rancheras at times, regional Galician at other times, and she sneaked in a Cuban rumba, Canto aquí, canto na Habana, and a tango, Rebelarse ā conciencia (beautifully performed).
Ses (a nickname given to her by her family) has a good ear for jaunty melodies and an expressive voice that wraps around strings on the tango, guitars, bass, percussion and folkloric instruments on other tracks. A simple arrangement of acoustic guitar, voice and Celtic flute such as the closing track, Unha mañá de setembro sounds delicious and aches with beauty. Whereas, Milonga de aquí reminds me of Mexican border ballads and Boto en falta unha ilusión could easily appear on one of Pedro Almodovar’s dramatic movies. While I don’t care for the old-style rock songs here, Ses offers more than enough folkloric songs to please my palette.