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Album Review

Lura was born in Lisbon of Cape Verdean parents, and her music is more reflective of the island nation that became independent in the year of her birth than it is of Portugal. On Eclipse, she mixes styles from her islands, from Europe, and from Africa into a smooth hybrid style. The basic instrumentation consists of acoustic guitars, an electric bass, and multiple percussion instruments, plus the occasional violin and accordion. There is a steady, complex rhythmic underpinning that never becomes heavy, but always supports the singer, who has an expressive, emotional contralto. Singing songs written by a variety of songwriters (she herself contributes to a single tune), she evokes various romantic situations and also paints a portrait of rural, poor, island life, with its farmers and fishermen and families. (The Portuguese lyrics are translated in the CD booklet of the North American release by Four Quarters Entertainment.) Musically, the album alternates rhythm numbers and ballads, but no matter the beats or the subject matter, things never get too furious or too slow. Eclipse is a varied and melodic collection of songs by a talented singer steeped in the tradition of her island heritage, yet alive to contemporary influences.


Born: 1975 in Lisbon, Portugal

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Portuguese singer Lura was born Maria de Lurdes Pina Assunago in Lisbon in 1975 as the daughter of parents from the Cape Verde islands of São Tiago and Santo Antão, and raised in the Creole section of the city. As a teenager, she pursued a career in sports education, but she left that behind when she was hired as a dancer and backup singer for Juka. After a duet with Bonga and partnerships with Tito Paris and Paulino Vieira, she was signed as a solo artist to Lusafrica. Although an album called In...
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Eclipse, Lura
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