One of the most promising Portuguese vocalists to emerge in years, Carminho is joined by an all-star group of musicians on her debut album, Fado, a collection of sparely performed fados sung with remarkable grace and majesty. Well worth the wait, Fado was a long time coming. The daughter of fadista Teresa Siqueira, Carminho first made a name for herself six years earlier with Saudades do Fado: Tertúlia de Fado Tradicional (2003), an album by guitarist Luis Penedo on which she was featured as a vocalist. In subsequent years, she won the Prémio Amália Revelação award and appeared in the Carlos Saura film Fados (2007). It was just a matter of time before she made her full-length solo debut with Fado, released when Carminho was only 25 years old. Her youth is notable, because on Fado, she comes across like a seasoned fadista, singing with passion, power, and poise. In addition to her spectacular vocals, Fado boasts an impressive list of featured musicians accompanying the young singer. The producer of the album, Diogo Clemente, plays guitar on all 14 songs, and he's joined by bassist Marino de Freitas on all except one. Bernardo Couto, José Manuel Neto, Ricardo Rocha, and Ângelo Freire contribute additional guitar. All the music is acoustic, and it's sparely arranged, generally featuring Carminho with the backing of Clemente, de Freitas, and one of the other guitarists. The traditional fado style may not change from song to song, but the material does, including fados penned by 11 different songwriters. Carminho is credited with two songs ("Palavras Dadas," "Nunca e Silêncio Vão"), and Clemente is credited with three ("A Voz," "Carta a Lisboa," "Carta a Leslie Burke"). Practically every song is excellent, in particular the first couple, "Escrevi o Teu Nome No Vento" and "A Bia da Mouraria."
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier