The Rough Guide to Fado

Various Artists

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The Rough Guide to Fado Review

by Chris Nickson

Fado is Portugal's great contribution to music, the tragic sound of acceptance, always infused with sad beauty. This compilation captures some of the best of the modern fado singers, both male and female, from those who've gained international fame, like Mariza and Ana Moura, to those just becoming known at home, such as Vânia Duarte, with a single album to her credit. Although women have gained the real recognition in fado, there's remarkable talent among the men, too, with Pedro Moutinho (and brother Helder) among the leaders of the pack. Celeste Rodrigues, sister of the legendary Amália, the greatest fadista ever, is included, still performing at 90 years of age and possessed of a beautiful voice. It's an exquisite introduction to the form, made even better by the inclusion of an album by Cristina Branco, one of the first of the modern generation to break through globally, and the owner of a crystalline, aching voice.

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