Mariza Fado Curvo Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Mariza is a true diva: her power comes from her extraordinary voice and her complete...

Nick Reynolds 2003

Mariza is a star. When she sings "Primavera", on this album it's amazing:a performance of compelling, almost brutal power, an extraordinary human cry.If you own "Fado em mim", her debut album, you'll want to buy this one for this track alone.

Most of "Fado em mim" consisted of interpretations of already well known songs like "Primavera", which was originally recorded by the legendary Amália Rodrigues. It revivified the Portuguese tradition of fado folk song and brought it to a new international audience. But "Primavera" is the exception on "Fado Curvo". The rest is new material specially written for Mariza by the cream of Portugal's musical community. The album has a more relaxed, looser feel than "Fado em mim".Its more eclectic and experiments with new ideas, some of which work brilliantly.

The two songs written by pianist Marino Freitas are high points. "Retrato" with a lovely cello part and "Andis do meu cabelo" are complex, elusive, moody pieces which add a dark edge to the overall mood. While in contrast "Menino do Bairro Negro" is light, sweet and charming.

Ironically, the title track is one of the few weak songs. And "O deserto" is an interesting experiment with a more jazzy mood that doesn't quite come off. It's a little too tasteful and perhaps the muted trumpet solo goes on a shade too long.

Of course if everything was as intense as "Primavera" this CD would be too much to listen to in a whole sitting. But it's performances like this and "Cavaleiro monge" that really stick in your mind. Here Mariza conveys emotions so extreme they threaten to break themselves in two.

In music these days diva usually means someone who can sing a bit, behaves badly and has a nice bottom. Mariza is a true diva: her power comes from her extraordinary voice and her complete commitment to her art. "Fado Curvo" is an intriguing step forward in her artistic journey. I for one will be following that journey every step of the way.

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