Paula Fernandes: Encontros Pelo Caminho

61-ry0EybxL._SX425_Country Road

Listening Post 4. Sertanejo—Brazilian country music—is as dominated by male voices today as American country was in the 1950s. The outstanding exception is Paula Fernandes, who has built her popularity on her sweet-and-low voice, her songwriting and her farm-fresh persona. Encontros Pelo Caminho (Encounters Along the Way), her seventh album, is a collection of collaborations with Brazilian and foreign artists, and rarely have I heard a duet album in which the host performer blends her vocal talent so naturally with such a diverse set of partners. Aside from some of Brazil’s leading male artists, she sings—in Portuguese, English and Spanish—with Tim McGraw (“Highway Don’t Care”) and Michael Bolton (“Over the Rainbow”), Juanes (“Hoy Me Voy”) and Chayanne (“Humanos a Marte”). Best takeaway: “You’re Still the One” with Shania Twain (video 1). She smoothly renders Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind” into Portuguese (“Caminhoneiro”) and does a voiceover with Frank Sinatra’s “Brazil”.  Often compared to Taylor Swift, Fernandes has generated more movement in fans than in herself; instead of evolving in a pop direction, she has made millions of Brazilians gravitate toward sertanejo. (Universal Music Ltda.)

 

 


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