Monday, 25 April 2011

Fado Tradicional

by Mariza

I never was a big fan of fado as a genre. I find its over-the-top drama and affectation incredibly annoying. And if there was a single fadista who has managed to annoy me even more than any traditional fado singer, that would be Mariza. It is true that she is constantly pushing the boundaries of fado — to the degree of complete unbearability. (I like her hair though.)

Her latest album, however, pleasantly surprised me. No strings here, thank goodness. Here she is accompanied “only” by the guitar trio (Ângelo Freire, Diogo Clemente and José Marino de Freitas: my respect), so her voice is given plenty of space. Several up-tempo songs, such as wonderful Dona Rosa, provide a welcome change from the standard “oh, this pain of mine” fare. The drama is still there but now Mariza sounds more in control of her emotions. Last but not least: at only 35 minutes, it is over before it starts feeling samey. OK I have to admit: I loved it.

Songlines places Fado Tradicional “in a class all of its own”. I wouldn’t know that — I’d have to listen for some more fado first and I am still not convinced I really want to.

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