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World Music CD Reviews Europe

MARIZA

By Tom Pryor
Published September 9, 2005

Fado Em Mim
Times Square Records

Possessed of an immaculate and powerful voice, Portuguese singer Mariza is one of the brightest of the new generation of fadistas angling for the crown of the late, great Amalia Rodrigues. Fado is the luxuriously melancholy ballad style of Lisbon; a passionate port music full of lament for lost sailors and the women who love them, and on Fado Em Mim Mariza imbues her material with a passion and longing that's way beyond her twentysomething years. The overwhelming sentiment of the music is saudade -- a wild, overpowering mixture of loss, sadness and nostalgia -- and Mariza makes her listeners feel it vividly on such tracks as "Maria Lisboa" and "Barco Negro." Accompanied by bass, piano, classical guitar, and the 12-stringed, high-tuned Portuguese guitar (as well as the occasional cello and hand percussion), Mariza's incredible voice carries the day here, propelling her into the front rank of world music divas.