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Seio da Bahia

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Album Review

The list of talented Brazilian pop vocalists who emerged in the 1990s is quite long; one of the most promising is Vania Abreu, who brings an abundance of charisma and thoughtfulness to her third solo album, Seio da Bahia. The Salvador, Bahia native turned São Paulo resident sings in Portuguese exclusively on this consistently melodic CD; those who speak nothing but English won't understand the lyrics, although Spanish-speaking listeners should be able to make out some of them. Spanish and Portuguese are, of course, sister languages and Spanish speakers will at least be able to figure out what the songs are about — although you'll need to know your Portuguese to pick up all of the nuances of the lyrics. But then, you don't have to understand a word to realize how soulful and charming a singer Abreu is. When she embraces the songs of Brazilian composers like João Ricardo ("Sangue Latino"), Roberto Mendes ("O Perdão," "Voz Guia"), and Zeca Baleiro ("Olhozinho"), listeners will hear an impressive vocal range and a fine sense of melody whether or not they understand the lyrics. This CD is enthusiastically recommended to lovers of modern Brazilian pop.

Seio da Bahia, Vania Abreu
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