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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Bia

By Bruce Sach
Published December 12, 2006

Coeur Vagabond
Audiogram

If there was any doubt about Bia’s past, present or future identity, her melodious new CD makes it clear. Quoting Chilean writer Luis Supúlveda, she sums it up nicely: “Our real home is where we are happiest.” Bia, a Brazilian expat who grew up in Peru, Chile and Portugal and who spent her adult life in France before settling in Montreal, has made a selection of classic Brazilian hits along with big-name French composers/singers like Henri Salvador, Georges Brassens and Serge Gainsbourg to create an interesting listen. The title track, “Coração Vagabundo,” pretty well sums up her footloose and somewhat unsettled past and as an acknowledgment to her present, is in both Portuguese and French, with the French half of the song offered first. Her French translations of the Brazilian classics are masterful, but the singing of them somehow pales next to her version of the original. Her final nod of the hat to her newly-adopted culture is her own Portuguese version of Quebecois Michel Rivard’s “Bille de Verre” and a hilarious Franguesa/Portuçais song called “Bilingue,” the only song on the CD written by Bia.