The Upbeat Side of Saudade

20 04 2007

Lura

LURA
M’bem di fora
(Times Square Records)

Thanks to the widespread appreciation given to Cesaria Evora, the string of ten islands known collectively as Cape Verde is defined by the slow, melancholic musings of the morna. Now, Cesaria certainly knows how to celebrate, but it is the sad and damp saudade of Portugal and, subsequently, these islands, that most ears are accustomed to. Perhaps, then, we only need change our definition of what this heart-rending word implies. Cape Verde native Lura exhibits plenty of it on her second recording, though M’bem di fora is full of upbeat, danceable tunes with textures of harmonica, percussion and lush background singing. It’s no surprise that Lura herself began in that role. Originally attending higher education to become a gym teacher, her career was suddenly remixed thanks to a dance teacher that invited her to sing (an occupation she had never even attempted). Maybe that’s why every moment of this album sound so natural. There’s a luminous, effeminate glow in “Bida Maridau,” a beautiful sentiment of a story in which a mother prepares her son to follow his destiny. Island life is accentuated on the homeland tribute, “No Bem Falá,” including the gentle tones of the cavinquinho riding under the rhythm. And just because the record swings on high most of the time, Lura’s reflective moments are equally puncturing. “As-Agua,” a reminiscence of childhood and rain, is the album’s most heartbreaking number – a true expression of longing. She entered school to study the body and ended up mastering gymnastics of another sort: those of lyrics working on the soulful, deep heart of our ears. – Derek Beres

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2 responses

22 04 2007
Desktopjunk

Thanks, always good posts on your blog!

9 06 2008
Frank P.

Great website, i really like it. keep up good job.

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