Felisa

Sacrificios (Mestisoul Entertainment)

Just because vocalist Felisa Herrera shifts effortlessly from Spanish to English and back again doesn't mean she focuses exclusively on the reggaeton style. While the propulsive "Esta Noche" sports the requisite chants and raps, much of the other material on Sacrificios is flavored with more R&B than hip-hop. By any name, though, this single-disc preview of a planned double-CD set is striking: a well-produced, hook-heavy introduction to an intriguing performer.

On ditties such as "Good Girl" and "Love Tonight," Felisa comes across as a fairly standard chanteuse, albeit one who thankfully resists the temptation to over-sing. But the stronger the material, the better she sounds. Take "Padre Padre," which juxtaposes Spanish guitar, wooden flute and clattering beats against her dulcet tones, and "Sacrificios," in which her subtly impassioned singing is capable of boiling testosterone at thirty paces.

If it's getting hot in here, Felisa deserves the blame. And the credit.

 
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