Paulo Flores

Xe Povo

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Xe Povo finds Paulo Flores mining somewhat the same terrain as in his previous Recompasso. Here the filigree becomes finer, as he stays with an acoustic percussive sound instead of electronic keyboard riffs and basslines. His mastery shines here in the pared-down sound of fingers on guitar strings and of hands on skin. His voice seems to have taken on a plaintive patina, particularly noticeable on the exquisite ballads. The songs are mostly self-penned, although he starts off with a Dorival Caymmi composition and later covers "Falso Testemunho," written by Antonio Vieira. The Cape Verdean virtuosos Tito Paris and Ramiro Mendes back him on a few tracks. The airy tropical vibe on the more uptempo tracks encompasses traditional Angolan rhythms along with hints of Brazilian samba. This album smolders with a different, quieter fire than some of his earlier material. Any album by Paulo Flores is an event worthy of celebration. Here, he doesn't fail to deliver more musical bounty to his listeners and dancers. Highly recommended.

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