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Fado Curvo

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 6, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

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Those unfamiliar with fado--that exquisitely mournful strain of balladry that is to Portugal what tango is to Argentina and flamenco is to Spain--will probably want to acquaint themselves more intimately with the genre after hearing Mariza's gorgeous album Fado Curvo. Following up on her 2001 debut, Fado em Mim, which catapulted the young singer from Lisbon to a pinnacle of worldwide critical and popular acclaim, Fado Curvo will delight fado aficionados and novices alike. The album showcases Mariza's startling vocal agility—almost operatic in its power and range on songs like "O Silencio de Guitarra" and "Calaleiro Monge," and yet playful on the title song and starkly expressive on "Retrato." The music, like Mariza's debut, is gorgeous-the chiming 12-string Portuguese guitar and acoustic guitar are enough to transport the listener to a smoke-filled Lisbon tavern. But the real joy of Fado Curvo is that it's a more personal and distinctive album than its predecessor. The production, this time by Carlos Maria Trindade, breathes more organically, with surprising touches like the muted trumpet on "O Deserto" and the stark cello and piano accompaniment of "Retrato." Meanwhile, Mariza herself, singing a collection of beautiful Portuguese poetry, sounds even more as if she is baring her own soul on songs like "Vielas de Alfama" and "Primavera," making this forward-thinking album both an excellent document of modern fado and a sign that bodes well for the world's next great fadista. --Ezra Gale
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 6, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Times Square Records
  • ASIN: B00008XEP3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,913 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Mariza does it again - her second album is a work of art - she transfixes you with that voice that has so much depth and emotion. There are some fados, which are true to the traditional style both melancholic and in the Portuguese Folklore style - Primavera, Vielas de Alfma, Feira de Castro and Fado Curvo. This will please those who are purist. However, she also pushes the fado style to a new level and dimension, that has jazz influences - this can be heard in O Silencio da guitarra, Retrato, Entre o rio e a razao.
The last track Aneis do meu Cabelo is my favourite - very much in the genre of fado - melancholic, she sings about not mourning her death or visiting her grave, but instead to keep forever the curls of her hair. In this 'fado' Mariza sings accompanied by a piano - her voice is so exposed and she expresses every word, emotion and breath - the song is so emotionally moving. Shut your eyes when you listen to this fado and you could almost imagine that she is sitting in your room singing to you.
This is a must album for any Mariza fans or anyone wanting to be introduced to Portugal's most treasured art form - Fado.
The Queen of Fado, Amalia lives on in Mariza.
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Format: Audio CD
I fell in love with her voice when I heard her "fado tango" Por Ti on "Fado: Exquisite Passion" compilation. I was fascinated by her expressiveness, by her delivery built on contrast (i think CONTRAST is the best word to describe Mariza)- now her voice is so heartrending and dramatic that it pierces your heart, and then, at the very next note, soft as silk, smoother than smooth, effortlessly following the lovely melody, and the intonation even a bit flirtatious...
Fado Curvo, produced by Carlos Maria Trindade from Madredeus, is full of intoxicating, catchy tunes with extremely beautiful arrangements, often with notable influence of jazz and African music, when you listen to them you can almost see lonesome roads along the sea at sunset, red-roofed houses of Lisbon, vast sandy beaches and moonlit valleys... My favourite song is, perhaps, Cavaleiro Monge, sombre and melancholic, with lyrics by no less a person than Fernando Pessoa. Vielas de Alfama is dark and velvety like the nights of Lisbon, Retrato is sheer sensuality, Entre o Rio e a Razao is life-asserting and sunny, Deserto, with an incredible muted trumpet and fliscorn, is deeply dramatic... in this last one, Mariza's voice is most expressive. She is not only a marvellous singer but also a good actress, and her only drawback is that - perhaps due to the lack of experience - she often overacts. With a vocal agility like that, she can attain a better command of her voice (and her temperament)and find the best way to convey the mood of each song. She just needs a bit more sense of proportion and, as it has already been said, better choice of material. And with all that, Princess Mariza is sure to become the true new Queen of Fado.
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Format: Audio CD
When she died in 1999. Amalia Rodrigues had long been acknowledged as the "queen of fado," that quintessential Portuguese expression of joy, sorrow, tragedy and loss -- in short, of saudades.
With the release of her first album, Fado Em Mim, Mariza bid fair to assume that title. As with Amalia, Mariza was raised in the Mouraria section of Lisboa (Lisbon) which has been called the birthplace of fado. And, as with Amalia, Mariza has become the mostly widely lauded practioner of this art form today. She was the winner in the Europe category of the 2003 Awards for World Music. All this and not yet 30 years old.
Fado Em Mim gave hints that, while respecting and having absorbed the fado traditions, Mariza would bring a new, more modern, more eclectic sensibility to the art form. Her new Album, Fado Curvo, amply demonstrates that she has the knowledge, the intelligence and above all the vocal talent (or should I call it genius) to meld jazz and blues sensibility with fado tradition to fashion a new and exciting version of Portugal's national treasure.
Backed by some of the finest musicians in the field, including a rather untraditional trumpet, bass and piano section on several songs, Mariza has given us a fresh, vibrant and altogether satisfying album in Fado Curvo.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a worthy successor to her debut album _Fado Em Mim_ and is just as good. Fado is similar to Spanish flamenco music (I mean "old school flamenco") in that both genres are stifled by tradition. There are people who resist new songs being written and think that the best performers died a long time ago. The New Flamenco movement saved flamenco and made it live again. Fado desperately needs such a movement. I had hoped that Ala Dos Namorados would start it, but they turned out to be a pop band. They are excellent, but they are not the vanguards of a Novo Fado movement. Mariza is fado's bright hope, a talented visionary who will breathe life into this worthy genre and cause it to live for future generations.

I can really add nothing that hasn't been said in the reviews of the regular US release of this CD. The "bonus tracks" on this CD are VERY disappointing. They are - "O Gente Da Minha Terra" and "Barco Negro" from the _Fado Em Mim_ CD. They are great songs, especially the amazing "Barco Negro", but since they were released on her first CD, there is no reason at all to buy this Japanese import. It's also copy-protected.
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