Linda Leonardo

Mystery of Fado

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On her third solo album, Linda Leonardo puts out a fair mix of the tones possible for fado. The album begins with the mournful, yearning sound that really embodies fado and its simultaneous themes of resignation to fate and defiance of fate. As the album progresses though, she starts to branch out into other variants of the genre, with more march-like songs, slightly more uptempo songs, and oddly enough at least one relatively upbeat piece of fado in the more Brazilian-sounding "Cara a Cara." Her voice is clear and evocative. Some of the sheer pain and pathos present in some of the greats seem missing in favor of some technical mastery here, which is a dual-edged sword if anything. The backing band is entirely capable, but the star (as it should be) is always Leonardo. For newcomers to fado, some of the classic singers may be a better starting point (Amalia Rodrigues and Ana Moura, for example). For those already acquainted with the genre though, this should make a fine addition to the collection.

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