Listening Post 21. Cuca Roseta’s third album has touches of fado’s traditional melancholy, but from the pace of her arrangements to the bounce in her voice, most of what it has is joy. It’s an embracing joy— while some fado artists temper their music with jazz, pop or other genres, Roseta wraps outside influences in the mellow chords of Portuguese guitar, fado viola and double bass. She wrote the lyrics for eight of the sixteen tracks on Riû (Laugh), but also draws on artists from Brazil (Djavan, Ivan Lins, Nelson Motta), Uruguay (Jorge Drexler), Cape Verde (Sara Tavares) and Canada (Bryan Adams). In the most irresistible track, Amor Ladrão (Thieving Love), both music and lyrics are hers: “He arrives wearing a crooked smile/Pocket full of shame,” she sings with swagger, putting love in human form, “If courage was compulsory/He’d be the leader of the thief-patrol” (video 1). Serenity flows from Quem Sou (Who I Am) and Ser Artista (To Be an Artist). Delight frames Carnaval and the title track, a laughing hymn to happiness. Two changes of pace are Verdes São os Campos (The Fields Are Green), an ode by the classic poet Luiz Vaz de Camões, backed by piano and string quartet; and Tanto (So Much), a ballad of love fulfilled (video 2). Lots of charm in this fado—and no tears. (Universal Music Portugal)
3 thoughts on “Cuca Roseta: Riû”
I like your review style, WLP. Very authentic :). Would love to feature your reviews in our weekly curated email digest that goes out to thousands of people.
Many thanks for your comment. I’d be delighted if you would feature my reviews on your e-mail digest. Is there anything I need to do–other than say “yes”?