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Cesária Evora - Nha Sentimento

2009-12-03 14:43
Nha Sentimento
It's often an unpleasant surprise to realise that the song you associate with fun times is actually about something pretty nasty, like slavery, or a husband who never returned from sea. Note to self: For happy time, stay away from Babelfish.

With Nha Sentimento, for once, the holiday feeling actually makes sense. The songs are true to the theme or romance and feelings, but the general vibe of this CD is relaxed and peaceful, with the danceable coladera rhythms flowing to the fore as on the sweet portrait-piece "Zinha". It's languorous, loose music, with a few sad undertones made of memory – faded by time but still full of longing.

Now and again, of course, the queen of the Cape Verde modern Morna serves up holiday music from the wrong side of the island – from a windy, overcast lodge with weird long-stay guests, and then sounds more like her younger, tortured self.

Some fans my argue that she's sold out by opting for catchy rhythms (and just in time for Christmas) but actually, Nha Sentimento is worthy addition to your Cesaria collection, and a breath of fresh air. Egyptian strings and violins update and enrich the slower and more traditional morna-style songs, such as the almost-title track "Sentimento". And after her recovery from a life-threatening illness Cesária Evora’s voice is as unforgettable as ever.

Latin-language music always sounds like holiday music, drifting into the headphones from somewhere far away from my world – somewhere warm, with different rules and flared-dressed dances.

What to read next: Kalahari
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