A return to basics after the increasingly lavish productions of her recent releases. I do like the experiments Mariza has been making but have to say this return to a simpler style really shows what a stunning singer she is. The CD is relatively short - 10 tracks over 35 minutes. But actually that is just perfect. The recording quality is amazing and the instrumentation is simple and uncluttered; 2 acoustic guitars (Portugese and Fado, whatever that is?) and acoustic bass. This really allows Mariza's voice to shine as it twists and spirals above the instruments. Despite the generally melancholic nature of fado, these songs are actually quite fast paced, especially the guitars, which does allow the vocal to float, soar and reach to places not usually heard in western music. Mariza really does silence those critics who have said she is just style and marketing over substance. Just listen to those amazing rolling Rs on Dona RRRRRRRosa. There's also a wonderful highlight (on I think it was - Al, Esta Pena De Min) where Mariza's vocal begins the track unaccompanied. The space around her vocal and the phrasing is astonishing, and makes me listen with extra care to the other tracks to truly appreciate how she masters timing and phrasing. A guitar finally joins in with little bursts, 3 or 4 times, before the other players also join to fill out the sound. So, the CD is short but so perfect and so beautiful, that any more would be too much. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
Have seriously listened to this work (it's not immediately appealing, slightly dour at first in fact) but now consider it to be a most serious and worthwhile work. The BBC (in their wisdom!) put Mariza singing the relatively trivial `Dona Rosa' on Jules Holland, what a travesty, might has well put on Barenboim as a side act to Adele! I saw Moriza's performance at the NRCM Manchester, a more appropriate venue for this profound quasi-classical music.
From the heights of the legendary `Concerto em Lisboa' after a while we have withdrawn to the studio to record this very personal music. A Portuguese `Winterreise' almost, with tributes to Amalia amongst others. Well done Mariza (and your brilliant musicians) you're a genius, you seem to be able to get into the soul of all these songs. After you I can hardly listen to anyone else!!