Cesária Évora

Cabo Verde

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Cabo Verde's artwork showcases a happier Césaria Évora than on her previous self-titled album (which introduced her to North American audiences). She is pictured laughing, against light greens and blues, and the music itself is considerably more upbeat than that on her other albums (this being her second U.S. release, but her sixth overall). However, the subject matter remains as sorrowful as ever, with lyrics translating to "The sea is the home of nostalgia/it separates us from distant lands/it separates us from our mothers, our friends/unsure if we'll see them again" ("Mar É Morada de Sodade"), and "You are mine, my beloved, even in heaven" ("Bo É Di Meu Cretcheu"). Not only does Évora sing her world-famous mornas, she also gives advice against the foolishness of youth, bringing to light the fact that much of the youth of her native land of Cape Verde has emigrated, leaving the remaining population with an incurable nostalgia. The album begins with several upbeat numbers, then, after the torchy, cabaret-styled "Partida," delves into moodier, more lamenting, and more glorious ballads. On "Coragem Irmon," Évora "duets" with the tenor saxophone of American jazz great James Carter. As with all her albums, this is an excellent collection of beautiful, soul-stirring songs, brought to life by Évora's marvelous voice. A winner in every respect (also included are the lyrics' English translations).

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