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Album Review

Cristina Branco's stature as the queen of new fado might have been eclipsed by the arrival of Mariza, but in some ways that's proved a blessing. It's freed her to pursue her own path without the weight of expectation on her. The spare arrangements keep the focus on her gorgeously luminous voice, and there are no real musical changes from her last album. She's still nibbling away at the edges of the genre, bringing in touches of blues and jazz, and working her way into Braziliana on Vinícius de Moraes' "Sonnet of Separation." Where she takes real chances are with the material, whose focus is on the facets of sexuality. Ten of the 14 songs come from the pens of her husband and bandleader, Custodio Castelo, with many lyrics by Portuguese poet David Mourao-Ferreira, although even William Shakespeare gets in on the act for one song, "Se a Alma Te Reprova." The juxtaposition of Branco's pure voice with such frank material makes for an odd combination, bringing a kind of glorious innocence to the proceedings. There's a wealth of emotion here, lovingly and sensually presented, making for a glorious package.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

By rights, Cristina Branco shouldn't sing the urban Portuguese song form called fado. The genre, whose name translates as 'fate,' has its history in Lisbon, a enigmatic, poetic, working-class style about accepting the lot life and love has dealt. But Branco, who grew up in rural Almeirim, Portugal, has established herself as one of the country's foremost fadistas, with a growing international reputation. Born in 1972, she grew up listening to blues, jazz, and music from around the globe. Although...
Full bio
Sensus, Cristina Branco
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Europe
  • Released: Mar 18, 2003

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Contemporaries