NPR: Lila Downs - 'Peligrosa'

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Friday May 05, 2017

From NPR

Songs We Love: Lila Downs, ‘Peligrosa’
By: Marisa Arbona-Ruiz

Bring on the tequila for this one.

And imagine the likes of Chavela Vargas and Janis Joplin serenading the women we call las adelitas ‘” the female Mexican revolutionaries ‘” around your table. That’s the kind of badassery Lila Downs evokes with “Peligrosa,” the lead track to her new album Salón, Lágrimas y Deseo.

Few alternative artists have the dynamic power and range of this bilingual warrior-woman, who has recorded nine albums, earning a Grammy and four Latin Grammys along the way. Salón, Lágrimas y Deseo, which she translates as Tears and Desire, follows in her artistically outspoken footsteps as an affirmation of feminine power.

Peligrosa means “dangerous,” in the feminine form, and this track is where the intensity of a dramatic ranchera (the kind of sentimental rural song associated with mariachi) meets the cry of soulful blues. It’s where an independent rebel heart screams out in angst and desire for what it unapologetically wants: “Dicen que yo soy peligrosa, que yo soy dolorosa, porque quiero vivir así. … Te digo que sí soy peligrosa, sí soy desdeñosa porque te quiero para mí. … quiero lo bueno para mí.” (“They say I’m dangerous, that I’m painful, because I want to live this way. … Let me tell you, yes, I’m dangerous, I’m scornful, because I want you for me. … I want what’s good for me!”)

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