Tété Alhinho


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Cape Verde singer Tété Alhinho's Voz is well named, using the Portuguese word for "voice." Mário Lúcio, Alhinho's partner in the band Simentera, is credited for the album's concept and arrangements, for playing guitar and for co-producing with her. His concept appears to have been to focus attention on her voice, and his spare arrangements, sometimes just his acoustic guitar, do exactly that. Alhinho sings his songs, her own, and traditional material, taking a personal, intimate approach to introspective lyrics that speak of love and loss, but also wax philosophical at times. The American release includes English translations in the CD booklet that sometimes leave meaning open to interpretation. ("There is nothing else to see in our World/Now you see the turtles share all kind of fish" is the final couplet of Luis Rendall's "Funk Palina," for example.) But what matters is Alhinho's voice, which carries meaning despite barriers of language and idiom, making Voz a good introduction to the music of Cape Verde for the wider audience that will get to hear it.

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