Rosalía El Mal Querer Sony
Rosalía is Spain’s latest viral star – a DIY-minded flamenco revivalist with an impressive online following and an upcoming role in Pedro Almodóvar’s new film, Dolor Y Gloria. For her album, El Mal Querer (which loosely translates as “loving badly” in English), the Catalan singer breathes new life into a centuries-old artform, daubing the mournful wails and urgent palmas (handclapping) of flamenco with a layer of early-00s chart-pop gloss.
Experimental club motifs collide with the raw emotion and longing of in human voice. Throughout El Mal Querer, the organic elements often prove the most exhilarating, but Bagdad teases a whimsical interpolation of Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River that makes it one of the album’s standout tracks. Here, El Guincho’s sparse modern production adds a unique, alien dimension.
El Mal Querer is a hopeless romantic that pays its respects to tradition without ever feeling cynical. The acoustic leanings may not be for everyone, but the album’s unity of artificial and authentic is worth tuning into.