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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Lura

By Chris Heim
Published April 27, 2007

M’bem Di Fora
Lusafrica

Like her predecessor, idol and, for a brief time, employer Cesaria Evora, Lura found some measure of success not from her initial, pop-inflected efforts, but with an album that embraced traditional music from Cape Verde. Unlike Evora though, Lura was drawn to the more lively and African-based funana and batuku. Those styles (with hints of flamenco, Brazilian and Portuguese music) are again the focal point for this follow-up to 2005’s breakthrough Di Korpu Ku Alma. Lura has the makings of a star–rich voice, fluid dancing, and a charming smile. There’s a certain bounce in her step, put there in part by the airy arrangements of pianist, producer and Evora’s musical director, Nando Andrade, and such accomplished players as Malagasy accordionist Regis Gizavo, flamenco guitarist Pedro Joia and harmonica player Vincent Bucher. Though not a significant departure, M’bem Di Fora is a sprightly offering full of contagious joy.