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Alejandra Ribera, This Island

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Judith Lynch

Alejandra Ribera's sophomore release opens with fragility. "Russian Plates on Michigan Avenue" was a full 10 seconds in before I actually heard anything and it proceeded to devastate me from there. On top of the sparse, haunting piano, Ribera lays her beautifully fragile vocals. They teeter throughout the song, looking for balance, almost breaking as she sings "helicopter is coming through," just past the three-minute mark. And that is just the first of Ribera's musical offerings on This Island.

Each of the 10 songs on the album puts Ribera's immense skills on display. As a collection, This Island has the range. "Higher" is the clear radio-friendly standout but "Led me to You" gives it a solid run for the money. The trilingual singer-songwriter sings in English for the majority of the album, but she does sing a few lines in Spanish on "Will Not Drown" and delivers a couple of verses on "Undeclared War" in French. From start to finish, This Island is pure musical delight.

“There is this infinite potential that lies in that moment between suspension and release,” says Ribera in a press release. “I wanted to put a sonic microscope on that moment and invite the listener into that intimate space normally reserved for those who create the music.”

This Island will be available on Jan. 27. You can pre-order the album here.