Predictably satisfying

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Do a search for past articles about Soraya, and more than likely, some writer is going to compare her to Sarah McLachlan.

The comparrison is only partly true.

Soraya shares with McLachlan a pristine soprano and very earnest delivery, but that’s where it ends. Unless, of course, McLachlan ever decides to team up with Celine Dion’s songwriters.

Soraya’s music is slickly-produced pop, make no mistake. As such, she shares more with Spanish-singing Italian popster Laura Pausini.

Torre de Marfil is an inoffensive album. It hits all the right spots for a none-too-difficult listening experience — jazzy chords, easy-to-sing melodies, soaring choruses, an occasional flash of ethnic flair, straight-forward hooks.

It’s a well-made product, but on the artistic merit scale, music snobs would have a field day. In short, Soraya is predictable. To her credit, she isn’t cookie-cutter either.

Soraya, who writes her own material, chooses her influences well, and as such, Torre de Marfil works because of its predictability.

“Lejos de Aquí” features an irresistably stirring chorus most cynics would find themselves humming. “El Cruce” thrives on its folk guitar vibe. “Cosas en la Vida” has an electric guitar hook that borders on rocking out.

Soraya’s pristine voice and her unconfrontational music makes for satisfying and plesant listening. It’s no great artistic statment, nor should it be.