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M'bem Di Fora

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Album Review

Funana, batuku, and mazurka are Cape Verdean words — the names of traditional island rhythms. They don't exactly roll off the tongues of most English speakers, but Lura, whose ancestors are from the region, is an especially capable and captivating translator. The songs collected on M'Bem di Fora, the Portuguese singer's second North American disc, sound less like examples of a new exotic strain of music than a pot stirred with pinches of samba, flamenco, jazz, R&B, and conjunto; it's a pan-Latin sound that alternately makes you want to twirl seductively and shop for fresh tortillas. Lura's voice is also an accessible thing, throaty and warm and confident. According to the album notes, the songs tell stories of life on Cape Verde: "Bida Mariadu" is about the limitations of island living, "As-Água" explains the summer thirst for rain, and "Fitiço di Funana" explores the potency of a traditional sensual voodoo dance. You don't need a grip on the culture or its values, though, to fall in love with the music. Lura presents a range of moods and styles any listener could get lost in. She also lends them a singular depth that should keep world music fans awaiting her next dip into foreign climates.

Customer Reviews


I'm really enjoying this album! I was very surprised to see that iTunes would have it! This album can be replayed without skipping songs. Thanks iTunes for supporting Lura.

Thank you!

Thank you Lura, this is a beautiful album! Thank you Itunes for spending the time to put up artists who deserve the attention!


I enjoyed her last album! Her opening song "Bida Mariadu" of this album is so emotional and beautiful and is a sign of things to come as you listen to the rest of the album. A MUST HAVE! One of the world's true talents but scandalously underrated - I applaud iTunes for letting her shine!


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...
Full Bio
M'bem Di Fora, Lura
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Customer Ratings