Two years after her successful debut CD, Claudia Acuna releases "Rhythm of Life."
The Chilean vocalist once against delivers her unique sound that blends languages and crosses Latin music with American standards. Acuna made a huge first impression with her debut album and does nothing to diminish that early success on her sophomore effort.
"Rhythm of Life" opens with a big, bold Latin jazz version of "My Romance" by Rodgers and Hart. She also offers a stylish rendition of Nat King Cole’s hit "Nature Boy." It begins as a moody ballad, but then shifts gears into a smoldering percussion-driven Latin number. Her rich, expressive alto ties the song together.
Acuna shines on the dramatic "Volver a los Diecisiete," a song about an older woman’s pride in her life. Showing off more of her interpretive skills, the CD also features a lovely, low-key version of "I Fall in Love Too Easily," with some nice piano work by Billy Childs, who is best known for his work with Dianne Reeves. The recording is dedicated to Reeves, who has served as a mentor to Acuna.
Some criticism can be made about what’s not on the album. The CD features only nine songs and only one original, "Nowhere to Go." This limited selection may disappoint listeners.
If you liked Acuna’s first CD, you’ll probably dig this one.