Fado Curvo


Available from 21/12/2010

10.95 €

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Those unfamiliar with fado--that exquisitely mournful strain of balladry that is to Portugal what tango is to Argentina and flamenco is to Spain--will probably want to acquaint themselves more intimately with the genre after hearing Mariza's gorgeous album Fado Curvo. Following up on her 2001 debut, Fado em Mim, which catapulted the young singer from Lisbon to a pinnacle of worldwide critical and popular acclaim, Fado Curvo will delight fado aficionados and novices alike. The album showcases Mariza's startling vocal agility—almost operatic in its power and range on songs like "O Silencio de Guitarra" and "Calaleiro Monge," and yet playful on the title song and starkly expressive on "Retrato." The music, like Mariza's debut, is gorgeous-the chiming 12-string Portuguese guitar and acoustic guitar are enough to transport the listener to a smoke-filled Lisbon tavern. But the real joy of Fado Curvo is that it's a more personal and distinctive album than its predecessor. The production, this time by Carlos Maria Trindade, breathes more organically, with surprising touches like the muted trumpet on "O Deserto" and the stark cello and piano accompaniment of "Retrato." Meanwhile, Mariza herself, singing a collection of beautiful Portuguese poetry, sounds even more as if she is baring her own soul on songs like "Vielas de Alfama" and "Primavera," making this forward-thinking album both an excellent document of modern fado and a sign that bodes well for the world's next great fadista. --Ezra Gale

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