Cranking out artfully assembled compilations of other artists' material is all well and good, but Putumayo couldn't really be considered a powerhouse world music label until it had a major Suzana Baca/Virginia Rodrigues-calibre diva of its own. Chilean singer Mariana Montalvo might be their best shot.
Cantos Del Alma is a sublime, folksy latin roots session, with Montalvo swinging gently through original tunes and a Serge Gainsbourg cover. Playing up her rich voice, the sparse, percussion-heavy accompaniment ranges from a simple thumb piano and shaker to accordion, guitar and throbbing bass. There's nothing here that's particularly groundbreaking, but Cantos Del Alma is a pleasant enough listen. Mission accomplished.