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Canção Ao Lado

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Album Review

Deolinda isn't only the name of the fado quartet that made Canção ao Lado (which translates from the Portuguese as "The Song Next Door"), it is also the name of the fictional character who ties together the group of story-songs that make up this concept album. She is a young woman who looks out her window in Lisbon and, apparently, imagines herself to be various people she sees going by, conjuring their life stories. It's a charming idea that has brought the group and the album considerable success in Portugal. The songs are translated in the CD booklet of the U.S. release, but for a non-Portuguese speaker, the sound of the music is somewhat similar to folk music, with singer Ana Bacalhu (an assumed name that actually means Ana Salted Cod!) alternately giving delicate and strident readings of the songs over an accompaniment of two guitars, one picking melodies and the other strumming rhythm, plus a string bass. Meanings and nuances may be left to informed Portuguese listeners, but the music communicates its appeal beyond the borders of Deolinda's native country.


Born: 2006 in Lisbon, Portugal

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Portuguese fado group Deolinda is named after the main character in the group's debut concept album, Canção ao Lado ("The Song Next Door", a shut-in living in a Lisbon apartment who watches the world through her window. The songs were written by guitarist Pedro da Silva Martins, who joined with singer Ana Bacalhau, guitarist Luis José Martins, and acoustic bass player Zé Pedro Leitão to form Deolinda in Lisbon in 2006. They recorded the album in late 2007 and early 2008, and it was...
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Canção Ao Lado, Deolinda
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