CD: Cesaria Evora, Voz D'Amor

(BMG France/RCA)

Already released in her two major markets, Europe and the US, and already nominated (once again) for a Grammy, this marks a return to basics for the diva from Cape Verde.

After the remix album, the experiments in matching her soulful vocals with sweeping strings, and the duets with other global celebrities, Cesaria Evora has wisely decided to record a more intimate set, backed for the most part by her touring band, with just a few added guests from Cuba, Madagascar or Brazil.

She starts and ends with mornas, the sad, bluesy songs from her homeland with which she first established her reputation, and which provide the most exquisite, thoughtful material on the album. Elsewhere she speeds up, just a little, to tackle more jaunty Latin-edged ballads and even dance songs with her relaxed and gently mournful vocals.

The result is an elegant set that at times sounds just a little too easy-going, lacking the emotional strength of her earliest work. Not that that will stop it being another global best-seller.


Robin Denselow

The GuardianTramp

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