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Fantcha: Criolinha

Fellow Cape Verdian vocalist Fantcha comes with Evora’s blessing and shares her musicians, and draws natural comparisons on her album Criolinha (Tinder 42852372; 45:55). But the comparison game is unfair, too: Fantcha, who now lives in New York but dreams of home, isn’t nearly on the level of her mentor. What she lacks in Evora’s subtlety and lived-in depth of expression-the inimitable qualities which have led to parallels between Evora and Billie Holiday-Fantcha gains in unpretentious eloquence. The music here is jubilant-sometimes brash in attitude-and also fashionably melancholic, in a manner endemic to Portuguese-related music. Fantcha’s fine vocals are nicely wrapped in production textures that manage to be both slick and raw, with the fanciful saloon pianisms and multiguitar Gypsy flourish of Evora’s recordings.

Originally Published