Our armchair travels continue this time to an island off of the West coast of Senegal.
Miss Perfumado was originally released on CD in 1992. Just was absolutely in love with this album twenty years ago and as such, I eagerly awaited its release on LP in 2016.
Cesaria Evora sings in a creole version of Portuguese, in a musical style called Morna from Cape Verde. Morna, “the music of sweet sorrow”, is widely considered the national music of Cape Verde, just as Fado is to Portugal, or the Tango to Argentina, the Rumba to Cuba, and of course Sean-nós from Ireland.
Morna covers universal subjects such as love, immigration, the return, and of course Saudade, the love for the homeland and the sea. When listening to this bitter sweet music, even if the listener cannot understand the actual words, the emotions conveyed are easily identifiable. That sense of longing is understood, or more importantly, felt, by everyone.
When the listener can identify with the singers emotions, the singer has won the listeners heart.
Miss Perfumed is Cesaria Evora’s fourth album, which enjoyed worldwide sales of 300,000 copies.
Evora’s voice is plaintive, richly textured, and surprisingly nimble.
The music enjoys an addictive percussion, coupled with beautiful bittersweet melodies that will melt your heart.
Achingly beautiful “Sodade”, composed by Armando Zeferino Soares, is the standout song of her long career.
It was reissued a few years ago on vinyl. The CDs are plentiful, while you can stream on Tidal or Quobuz.