Garras Dos Sentidos

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There's a wonderful light and shade to Misia's music, which truly comes of age on this album. Like all fado, the themes of the songs are lost love, death, betrayal, and loneliness, but she updates the great Portuguese tradition by bringing in more of a jazz feel to some of the material, while using modern writers, especially lyricists like Nobel Prize-winning poet José Saramago, who penned the words to "Dança de Mágoas," to add more modern -- but equally wistful -- sentiments. Portuguese guitar is the heart of the instrumental sound, mournful and gorgeously played, a counterpoint to Misia's soaring, aching voice on the gorgeous title cut, where accordion confirms the melancholy. While she can generate a tumble of emotions with her singing, Misia never goes over the top; everything here -- from the vocals to the arrangements and the production -- is understated, with a beautiful clarity that makes it all the more intimate, a gorgeous record by one of the emerging new fadistas.

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