The third album by singer/songwriter Lhasa de Sela was recorded and released not long before she succumbed to breast cancer in January 2010, and the haunting meditations on love, sorrow, and transcendence here seem colored by the events of her final days. Beyond the poignancy of their creation, these songs are remarkable for their exquisite craft and soul-bearing expressiveness. This was de Sela’s first all-English album; the Mexican ranchera and European cabaret elements that defined her first two releases are blended with American folk, country, and R&B strains to produce a unique multicultural fusion. In her hands, the Appalachian-accented balladry of “Fool’s Gold” takes on eerie new shadings, while on “Love Came Here” and “Rising” she combines the gravitas of a ‘60s R&B diva with the elegance of a jazz chanteuse. Throughout, de Sela’s low-smoldering vocals are never less than riveting. Songs like “A Fish on Land” and “What Kind of Heart” ask profound questions with sparse, gracefully poetic language. The bluesy closing track, “Anyone and Everyone,” is an eloquent farewell by an immensely gifted artist who left this world far too soon.

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