Radars had been buzzing since the discovery of Los Ángeles (2017), a debut album produced by Raül Refree, which featured flamenco and R&B imagery from the CANADA collective’s videos. Then, the single “Malamente” and a first electric concert at Sonár in Barcelona, her home city, propelled the hype before the summer. One question remained: At age 25, could Rosalía shoulder the dual responsibility of modernizing flamenco while finally putting Spain on the urban music map? Even if recent appearances still indicate the fragility of live music, El Mal Querer has had a positive response.
This album is produced by Barcelona’s electro-pop troublemaker, El Guincho, in a significantly more flashy style than its predecessor; it unleashes a dizzying range, featuring palmas handclapping over synthetic basses – a recipe repeated on most of the songs. It offers thirty minutes of sensual vocalizations, contemporary textures, high-powered cars, bulls, and bitter enemies, including a flamenco puro (“Que no salga la luna”) reminiscent of where Rosalía comes from. But there is no telling where she will go, as she’s torn between her land and the stars – an uncomfortable but exciting place to be.
Rosalía, El Mal Querer (Sony)