Paula Fernandes: Amanhecer

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Country Girl on a Wire

Listening Post 44. Life is a balancing act, even for overachievers like Paula Fernandes, one of Brazil’s most accomplished and celebrated singer-songwriters. In addition to selling more than 10 million albums, she regularly appears on lists like “most beautiful” and “most Googled.” Part of her charm is the balance between a deep, seductive voice and farm-girl innocence; part of her struggle is juggling fame and fortune with bouts of depression, about which she has spoken openly. Perhaps the easiest balance, much in evidence on Amanhecer (Daybreak)—arguably her most upbeat album to date—is moving back and forth along the spectrum between Sertanejo (Brazilian country) and pop music. Piração (Crazy) is a danceable Sertanejo song, driven by accordion and drum, about romantic fever: “When I kiss you, love/I get crazy/I’m dying of desire/And feel heaven come to earth” (video 1). Also on the high-energy country end is Menino Bonito (Beautiful Boy): ”Riding your horse, wind in your hair,” she sings, “I’ve taken leave of my senses/If you come by today, you’ll have to stay” (video 2). Among the collection’s most captivating songs are the environmental anthem Agua no Bico (Water for the Nest) and the life-affirming Para Quem Sabe Sonhar (For Those Who Can Dream). The best of the album’s pop numbers is the breakup ballad Falar de Fim (To Talk of the End, video 3). No end in sight for her career—on her eighth album, 31-year-old Fernandes looks like she’s just getting started. (Universal Music International)


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