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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on May 5, 2003
My friend Sam (a Sade-Enya-Swing Out Sister fan supreme) recently said, "You only need one Cesaria Evora CD, they all sound alike." I heartily disagree, and think that the differences between each become more apparent the more you listen to each of her marvelous CDs. She isn't "trying out styles" like an American pop star, she always sings with the voice she was given, in a style which compliments that voice perfectly. No gimmicks, no production tricks, no clever publicity to broaden her audience. Her songs are all informed by her background in and ongoing love for Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), and she is fortunate enough to record music by some of Cabo Verde's greatest songwriters (especially Gregorio Goncalves and Manuel de Novas). Her rich, sad, wise, sometimes world-weary voice is well suited to express her "saudades" (a yearning and nostalgia which cannot be put into words) for her homeland. Cabo Verde is a poor and heavily-deforested group of islands, so the sorrow in her music is also a nostalgia for a place and time long since passed. Her lovely, melancholy mornas ("Flor di nha esperanca," "Paraiso di Atlantico," and "Desilusao dum amdjer" [tracks 1, 4, and 7 respectively]) perfectly express her nostalgia for past, family, friends and the isolation of a place like Cabo Verde. The coladeras, on the other hand, are lively and vibrant, including "Vaquinha mansa," "Carnaval de Sao Vicente," and "Terezinha" [tracks 2, 6, and 14]). Jim Reeves fans will recognize her lovely version of "Maria Elena," sung in Spanish. The rest of the CD is in a Portuguese "colonial" dialect, but that only makes the music sound more exotic as it transports you to a completely different time and space. The best tracks are, in my opinion, the haunting "Paraiso di Atlantico," the Brasilian-flavoured "Carnaval de Sao Vicente," and the fun, whimsical "Terezinha." I'm not one of these people who would say, "If you only buy one Cesaria, buy this one"--I can't imagine my music collection without this CD, but I don't think one CD by her is sufficient! It is unfair to compare this CD with The Buena Vista Social Club simply because both are in a language other than English. Cesaria Evora is one of the greatest singers of our time, and this CD is a masterpiece.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 23, 2002
This lady my friends, has natural talent with the ability to project that happy feeling and share it with the listener...from the first to the last, a variety of rhythms surrounded by a group of versatile musicians.
A native of the island national of Cape Verde, Evora is known as the countries foremost practitioner of the morna style, which is strongly associated with the islands of combines West African percussion with Portuguese fados, Brazilian modhinas and British sea-chanteys.
Evora began singing morna at age the late '60s had two albums released in the Netherlands and Portugal...having recorded some 15 albums, Cesaria comes up with one of her best performances in "CAFE ATLANTICO", which goes back to her roots or Portugal...let's look at the opener "THE DREAM OF MY HOPE", is simply terrific..."SWEET LITTLE COW, LOVE OF THE WORLD", change of pace..."ATLANTIC PARADISE", takes on a whole new direction giving the listener of being there, which is a plus revealing her tone, mood and style.
Let's look at the highlights ~ "SAO VICENTE CARNIVAL", is simply haunting from the get-go, when Cesaria sings and then joined by the band, it is mesmerizing and leaves you wanting more, hoping the dream never ends...must mention the old standard "MARIA ELENA", recorded by many musicians/artists, brings back memories with this wonderful arrangement and performance by Cesaria.
An inimitable smoky sound of the reigning "Queen of World Music" praise of her hometown Mindelo, on the tiny Cape Verde Island of Sao Vincente...there you see the safest harbor between South America and Africa, "The Barefoot Diva", has distilled centuries of cross-cultural music into the solid joyous ache that sings her love to the world...unforgettable album will linger while others fade...CESARIA EVORA...we feel love through your music!
Total Time: 58:21 on 14 Tracks ~ RCA Victor 65401 ~ (1999)
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on August 6, 2000 that should tell you the power of this music. After being introduced to Cesaria several years ago, I've bought every album I could find and thoroughly enjoyed every one. This album was no exception. It is an absolute treasure.
Cesaria's voice and the music of Cape Verde utterly transports me to an inner place I don't often venture. Her throaty, soulful voice speaks of experienced love, joy, sadness and life. Although I do not understand the language, I feel everything she is singing and you can't say that about most of today's music.
The music....I can't find words to describe the ultimate beauty of this music. The instruments sound like they're weeping in one song and laughing in another. I have tried to explain to friends and spread the joy I've felt from listening to this woman's music and everyone who has heard her has fallen in love with this music.
I assure you, there is no way you won't enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the music and the remarkable instrument that is Cesaria Evora.
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on June 21, 2000
I first heard "Miss Perfumado" a few years back, and could not believe my ears. This was something new and wonderful. Cesaria Evora has a beautiful voice and a style all her own, one that shines through many of her recordings, like Miss Perfumado and the eponymous "Cesaria Evora." I therefore bought this CD and popped it in the player with great anticipation, which was quickly replaced with utter horror. Someone recorded an album of songs beautifully sung (as always) by Ms. Evora and simply accompanied by a small ensemble of musicians. There's even some nice work on the laud from Barbarito Torres. However, it appears the original recording was stolen and taken up the street for remixing at the Muzak elevator music factory, where it was slathered with layer upon layer of crudely mixed strings, horns, choirs of back up vocals -- you name some hackneyed pop music cliche, it's in here. This recording is like a house full of beautiful old plaster and woodwork that has been "improved" with many layers of paint, wallpaper and cheap Home Depot decoration. Do not be misled -- as I was -- by some of the glowing reviews that appear here at Amazon. This CD is a disgrace and a terrible disservice to this woman's talent. It goes straight to the trash bin.
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on November 12, 2000
I had the pleasure recently of hearing Cesaria's rich, soul-tugging voice, for the first time, at a local tapas restuarant I frequent in Chicago, and I was mesmerized by the beauty of it. You know that feeling you get when the sheer power of a particular song gives you goosebumps, and brings all your emotions to the surface and you can't breathe? Her voice takes you there, you can feel it in the core of your soul...there's no other way to describe the feeling you get when you hear her sing. I'm waiting to exhale! Cafe Atlantico is the first CD I purchased and I plan on buying every CD she's made. The combination of the wonderful music with Cesaria's lush voice is absolutely amazing...I highly recommend it with a glass of merlot and a hot bubble bath!
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on September 27, 1999
I feel so privileged to have seen Cesaria Evora in concert, Luanda, 1998. In a natural, unassuming way, her magical presence dominates both audience and stage. This album is an ambitious musical experience, where traditional cape-verdean and afro-cuban melodies and rhythms are successfully blended. Cesaria's "velvety" voice is backed up by an "all star" group, featuring an original instrumental combination which includes a lute player, outstanding string and percussion sections. Beijo de longe is one of the most exciting tunes. I cannot stop listening... Muito obrigada, criola, pela sodade da sua musica.
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on July 23, 2001
How could I give anything but the stars to this magnificent woman ? Evora's singing is a true gift to mankind, luckily appreciated by many around the globe. From the first violin sounds of the opener, this CD is all soul - which means all Cesaria. There are moments for dancing as well as moments for contemplating - all done with the perfect Cesaria taste. I love the musicians who support Cesaria on this CD - they are completely in tune with her and add to the overall success of the music.
This is highly recommended as one of Cesaria's best CD's - to any person on this earth.
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on September 5, 2000
I was very surprised to see this album in the recommendations section, since this is one of my favourites. Indeed, as many reviewers pointed out, the musicians are spectacular. And when Cesaria sings, she gives you the impression that singing is the easiest thing to do. When I'm listening to this album I can almost picture myself traveling around the islands on the North coast of Africa. I'm somewhat fortunate for I'm a native Portuguese speaker, and I can understand something of the lyrics. I strongly recommend this album for anyone who likes real good quality music.
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on August 20, 2000
This album is stunning. Having sampled the disk in the local Borders, I rushed home to order it for private pleasure. It certainly did not disappoint, in fact, I listened to the songs over and over. Like the experience of reading a great novel, I found a different subtlety with every listen.
The cuts are great for a party or just to lift the mood on a blue day. What strikes me is how soulful is Evora's voice. Having a therapeutic dusky quality, she touches me much as Sarah Vaughn would at her best.
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on September 7, 1999
I am enjoying this album very much, even though, it is a sort of departure for Cesaria, who sings more up-beat, allegro tunes rather than the traditional melancholic, slower tempo of mornas. I find myself forever repeating 'Amor di Mundo', 'Terezihna', 'No Antone escaderode' and 'Sorte' and just dance! The slow ones are not any less excellent. Just a perfect, well balanced album. The voice? What can I say -- angelic as ever! DON'T MISS OUT ON A BEAUTIFUL MUSICAL EXPERIENCE!
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