[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
October 31 - November 7, 1997
[Music Reviews]
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*** Madredeus


(Metro Blue; two CDs)

Fado is a style of Portuguese music that's been likened to a cross between opera and the blues, and its uncanny blend comes through clearly on this live concert recording by the exploratory chamber ensemble Madredeus. They use accordion, cello, acoustic guitar, electric keyboards, and the ethereal singing of Teresa Salgueiro to translate this moody folk music into a contemporary pop idiom influenced by everyone from João Gilberto to Bob Marley.

This double-CD set captures the contemplative serenity and delicate musicianship that has won the group immense popularity throughout Europe. (Their spacious, haunting soundscapes are featured in Wim Wenders's latest film, Lisbon Story.) It offers an alternative to the super-slick, ultra-groovy dance music that dominates the world-music scene. Indeed, founder and leader Pedro Ayres Magalhâes has said that in concert Madredeus "wants to be peace itself" -- and that's precisely what songs like "O ladrão" and "Cuidado" achieve.

-- Alan Waters

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