Monica Naranjo – Tarantula (2008)

2008-65654Monica Naranjo – what a voice! I’m so glad I tried out her new album, Tarantula, because I have really been loving it. I hadn’t heard of her before this album but I’m trying to catch up with what I’ve missed – she’s a fantastic artist! Her voice is so expressive and engaging – she’s one of those singers who could sing the phone book and you’d be entranced.

Tarantula is dance at its most epic. It’s actually rather operatic in parts! Monica’s mighty vocals are supported and enhanced by beautiful production. This album makes for truly satisfying listening – every element works perfectly.

untitled321123“Europa” kicks the album off in grand style. It’s ambient, orchestral, and rock n’ roll all at the same time. An absolutely stunning track. The intense vibe of the first track continues on into “Todo Mentira,” with deep beats and big vocals. Things slow down a bit with the lovely “Para Siempre,” but the dark, ethereal feeling is still very much there.

That darkness vibrates throughout the whole album – I say “vibrate” because it’s not depressing darkness; rather, it’s thrilling and dramatic. Speaking of dramatic, “Usted” has some cool choral backing amidst the heavy drums and synths. “Amor y Lujo” is a driven, urgent dance track with Monica giving a forceful vocal performance. The album finds an oasis in “Idilio,” a delicate, airy, magical little track with tender vocals from Monica and featherweight instrumentation. Gorgeous.

200804281956375555It’s back to rock n’ roll dance with “Diles Que No” and its deep, gritty synths. “Kambalaya” is less rock and more dance/tribal, and it is another wonderfully over-the-top album highlight. (The whole album is one big highlight, really!) “Eva” comes up next and is a pretty, melodic ballad – not quite as good as “Idilio,” but still beautiful.

“Amor Y PosesiĆ³n” amps up the tempo and volume with a great chorus and more nifty, growling guitars. “RevoluciĆ³n” is slightly slower but no less intense, with aggressive vocals from Monica and a driving dance beat. Again, the production of this album is just flawless.

The album closes with the vocalized, orchestral “El Descanso.” The album ends as majestically as it began and leaves you wanting to experience the whole thing again.

This album is probably my favorite of the year so far. Give it a listen and hear for yourself how great it is! :)