When: Thu., Dec. 22, 9 p.m. 2011
With her bubbly self-titled second album, Mexican pop singer Ximena Sariñana reaches for a broader audience, writing and singing all but one song in English (her impressive 2009 debut, Mediocre, was entirely in Spanish). Sariñana's tunes don't tackle particularly complex issues—in most of them, she comes across a bit self-absorbed as she ruminates on romantic desire, breakups, and serial monogamy, though the opening track, "Different," is a biting jab at snobbery. In "Wrong Miracle" she shrugs off the good luck she encounters as she pines for the object of her obsession, and in "Love Again" she shuffles through a string of unsatisfying romances ("Pick a number, take a name"). Sariñana's lyrics aren't embarrassing at least, and anyway it's her melodies, not her profound thoughts, that make her special. There's a sweet effervescence to her songs, which collide electronic-pop glitz with the kind of sophisticated hooks Liz Phair once churned out in her sleep; during reserved moments, you can also hear a bit of Phair's awkward huskiness in Sariñana's voice. She made the album with a bunch of collaborators and producers—Greg Kurstin (half of the Bird and the Bee, best known for his work with Lily Allen), Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), fellow Mexican pop star Natalia Lafourcade—but it sounds entirely of a piece, its lean arrangements flecked with subtle electronic flourishes, subdued horns, and zippy glockenspiels. For this tour she's supported by a drummer, a guitarist, and her own keyboards. —Peter Margasak Graffiti 6 opens.