Manchester Attack

Amar Es

Mexican balladeer Cristian's latest studio album has a Japanese-motif cover, with Cristian in Japanese garb sipping tea with a Geisha.

Mexican balladeer Cristian's latest studio album has a Japanese-motif cover, with Cristian in Japanese garb sipping tea with a Geisha. Is there a connection with the album's content? No, except that the music is as unexpected as the cover. Yes, the standard sweeping ballads are present ("Te Llamé" and the single "No Hace Falta"); they are fine showcases for Cristian's landmark voice. But there is also a classic, tasteful touch in the standards "Madrigal"—accompanied only by guitar, requinto and violin—and "Saudade." Cristian sings these songs with an understated nuance. And his care in phrasing is unusual for a pop artist. Cristian is a balladeer, but he is more than willing to go out on a limb. The wacky "Gallito Feliz"—included in rock and Mexican cumbia versions—finds the artist poking fun at himself. This is evolution. Job well done.—LC