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Mi Ma Bo

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Album Review

On this, her major-label debut, Cape Verde singer Sara Tavares (who turned 21 the year the album was released) comes off as a talented young artist who hasn't quite decided what sort of artist she wants to be. Perhaps her handlers at RCA Records Portugal wanted to give a broad sense of her abilities, or to maximize her market potential. In doing so, they have presented several different performers in one. The basic Sara Tavares may be a pleasant vocalist gliding over fingerpicked acoustic guitar as she croons romantic words in Portuguese, but there are other artists here, starting with the one who sings the leadoff title track against a light dance beat. On "Querer Sonhar," she sounds sufficiently soulful to be an African Anita Baker. A teen pop artist bounces along to "Cabo Verde Na Coração." And on such English-language tracks as "I've Got a Song in My Heart" and "Breathe," Tavares sounds like she's been listening to Mariah Carey. The direction Tavares will take as an artist may depend on which, if any, of these songs become popular. Or maybe as she matures, she'll figure out for herself and go her own way.


Born: 1978 in Lisbon, Portugal

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s

Afro-Portuguese songwriter Sara Tavares was born in 1978 and brought up in Lisbon. Second-generation Portuguese of Cape Verdean decent, Sara was brought up by an elderly matriarch in her community after her father left for the States in search of a better life, her mother having traveled south in pursuit of the same ends. Sara showed great musical promise from a young age, a potential that was cultivated and bore fruit while Tavares was still in her teens. Winning the Endemol song contest Chuva de...
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Mi Ma Bo, Sara Tavares
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