November 2005

Faluas Do Tejo
Blue Note Records

Listening to Teresa Salgueiro is to know what it is to hear an angel sing of majesty and devotion. It's tempting to refer to Salgueiro-who suggests a glorious olio of Cesaria Evora, Edith Piaf and Bernadette Peters-as the soul of Madredeus (the quintet's moniker modified from the name of their Lisbon neighborhood, Madre de Deus). But to do so ignores the vital fact that guitarists Pedro Ayres Magalhaes, Jose Peixoto and Fernando Judice, together with Carlos Maria Trindade on synthesizers, are integral to the exquisiteness of her vocals. Better perhaps to think of her as the group's heart and them as its beat.

Last year, Madredeus released Um Amor Infinito, a 14-track saudade valentine to Lisbon. Faluas do Tejo is being touted as a sequel. It is, though, since its nine tracks were recorded during the same 2004 sessions, less a sister than a nearly identical twin. But listen closely to both and you can appreciate the subtle differences. Tejo is a hair's breath more beautiful and a wee bit more worldly.

Originally published in November 2005

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