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Paris, Île-de-France, France | MAJOR

Paris, Île-de-France, France | MAJOR
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"Lura press album Eclipse 2009"

Slightly throaty with a dark timber and an inner luminosity, Lura's voice unfurls with efoortless elegance over this album's sprightly rhythms. While a number of young Cape Verdean singers have emerged in the wake of the great Cesaria Evora, this marks the 34 year-old out as the melancholy diva's true inheritor. - Telegraph 3/05/09 by M.H. Rating ****

"Lura press album Eclipse 2009"

On her 2006 album, M'bem di fora it felt as if Lura's verve was being tempered by the need to sound a bit like Cesaria Evora. But the subsequent success of Mayra Andrade and Sara Tavares has allowed her, and a whole new wave of Cape Verde musicians, to find their own sound. Eclipse will fit neatly into anyone's 'Cape Verde nova' collection alongside Andrade's navega, Tavares' Balance and Thekas's Lonji.
It's every bit as rich, varied and satisfying. And it's the first Lura record to capture the vivacity and variety of her sparkling stage show. The alum is rooted in tradition without being lost in nostalgia. Even wistful mornas like title-track (a B Leza classic) are garnished with stylistic flourished from Portuguese and world music and filtered through contemporary production. there is also, of course, plenty of modern Cape Verdean music here: 'Na Nha Rubera' typifies the arse-wiggling funanas that are all the rage in the islands nowadays; Orfelino' is a morna-tinged ballad; and uptempo numbers like 'Libramor' and 'Mascadjôn' recall coladeira. The album closes with Teofilo Chantre's delicious, goose-pimpling tango 'Canta Um Tango', recorded in collaboration with Armani-suited Neapolitans Kantango. It is surely destinated to be a coktail-bar hit. Lura's voice is magnificient throughout; at times reflective and mournful, at others as euphoric as a carnival samba - Songlines july 2009 by Alex Robinson

"Lura PRESS 2009"

Until now, it would have been fair to say that you needed to see this Lisbon-based Cape Verdean singer in the flesh to truly appreciated her charisma and unabashe sexuality. No longer. Eclipse is the work of an artist who has blossomed into full maturity.Lura's musical roots may be more overtly Africa than those of some of her island rivals, but this set does a superb job of covering all the bases, from traditional morna balladry to upbeat samba and hints of reggae, without seeming at all calculated. Her voice is crisp and assertive, and she further extends her range on the tender, electro-tinged Canta um Tango. - Sunday Times 26/04/09 ****


Clive Davis at Union Chapel, N1

Who is the most dynamic performer in world music right now? I can think of no one who can rival the Cape Verdean diva Lura in terms of passion and vivacity. This was a quite spellbinding display by a singer at the height of her powers. Much as I enjoyed her stylish new album M’bem di fora, her live act attained another level altogether.
The one vocalist from Cape Verde that everyone knows is Cesaria Evora, with whom Lura toured early in her career. But while the matronly Evora makes an all but static presence on the concert stage (lighting up a cigarette is about as animated as she becomes), the younger woman is lithe, restless and magnificently unselfconscious. The stately architecture of the Union Chapel may not be the obvious setting for such a force of nature, yet even before the interval, the six-piece band – buoyant acoustic guitar balanced against elegant violin – had set the pews alight.
Born in Portugal in the year that her ancestral homeland achieved independence, Lura initially flirted with more commercial styles before immersing herself in the subtle cross-rhythms of the islands. Nestling in the Atlantic, west of Senegal, the archipelago has long been a meeting point of musical traditions from Africa, Europe and Brazil. If Evora’s glorious music is steeped in echoes of fado, Lura’s inspiration draws more on the African dimension, but with the undulating percussion tempered with a very Brazilian subtlety and sense of colour.
At first it seemed that the chapel’s acoustics might be less than kind to the musicians. But if there were moments when the precisely enunciated lyrics of, say, Ponciana were in danger of losing some of their impact, band and singer adapted superbly. Lura, who still has the looks and energy of a teenager, was mesmerising, plunging into the sultry, hip-swinging beat of the funaná (a dance that was once banned by the colonial authorities) and resting on a chair to beat out the pulse of the batuku, a rhythm derived from the circle chants of washerwomen.
After a tumultuous climax to the first half, she opened the second in more reflective, almost sombre, mood. She delivers bossa-tinged ballads with as much authority as the up-tempo dance anthems. A magical evening, in short.

- The Times, May 24, 2007


"Di Korpu ku Alma" (Lusafrica - 2005)
"M'bem di Fora" (Lusafrica - 2006)
"Eclipse" (Lusafrica - 2009)
"Best of Lura" (Lusafrica - 2011)



We left Lura in 2006 with the flawless “M'bem di Fora”. Today, she is back with “Eclipse”, her finest album to date. Recorded in Brussels, Lisbon, Paris, Praia and Naples, this fourth opus confirms the reliable talent and natural elegance of a singer who still has plenty of surprises in store for us.

Penned by B. Leza, the historic Cape Verdean writer sung by Cesaria Evora, the song Eclipse is a treasure-house of emotion and sobriety. It sets the tone for the album: delicately wrought, acoustic and full of grace. The track is a perfect illustration of sodade - a vague feeling of melancholy and sadness, a nostalgic relationship with land, sea and family sung by poets, sailors and their wives since time out of mind. Lura’s sensual voice sometimes conveys the distant regrets of her exile, a general, gentle sodade that is never bitter.

A Portuguese-speaking artist, Lura stands at the crossroads of Portuguese and Cape Verdean culture. Born in Lisbon in 1975 (the year of her country’s independence), she remains strongly attached to her family’s native land and the culture of Cape Verde. At the age of seventeen, she was already dancing and singing backing vocals for Juka, a Sao Tomé zouk singer. Giving up her swimming studies, she took the plunge into the musical deep end and soon acquired a reputation as a singer in her own right. In 1996, she recorded a first urban album of r&b and Afro-Portuguese zouk.
A well-received duet with Angolan singer Bonga, then partnerships with her fellow countrymen Tito Paris and Paulinho Vieira caught the ear of José Da Silva, head of Lusafrica and Cesaria Evora’s producer, and he signed her to his label. Lura released her first proper album, “Di Korpu ku Alma”, in 2004. It met with strong critical acclaim.

Following the success of her next album, “M'bem di Fora”, which came out in 2006, Lura travelled the world, winning over audiences who proved ever more loyal and attentive to her music. Thanks to her, Cape Verde’s younger generations rediscovered their local musical heritage. They began to dance, fall in love and weep to the beats their parents and grandparents loved. Displaying great maturity, “M'bem di Fora” laid the foundations for Lura’s future songs and now her new album, “Eclipse”.

Today, she lays firm claim to her Cape Verdean roots, as if all the better to transcend them. “I sing the music of my parents’ country. I identify especially with Santiago and Santo Antao, since they’re my father and mother’s islands. Singing the music of Cape Verde is like experiencing things I’ve never known,” she explains in smiling French.

Growing up in the Creole quarter of Lisbon, Lura was surrounded by beats from the leeward and windward islands, as well as Portuguese pop, jazz, African music and American soul. Today, all these influences are to be found on “Eclipse”. The album expresses love, joy and sometimes sadness. Its thirteen new tracks display incredible energy - for instance, Maria, a song written by Lura herself, whose bass and percussion showcase her voice magnificently.

Her bandleader and arranger, Toy Vieira, wrote the superb Um Dia with her in mind. On this ballad with its jazz notes and discreet backing vocals, a radiant Lura literally shines, as she does on the catchy Quebrod Nem Djosa (Poor as a Church Mouse), one of the album’s high points. This song by Vlu (Valdemiro Ferreira), one of Mindelo’s fashionable young writers, appeals to the honesty of Cape Verdeans facing economic adversity. Brass and backing vocals remind us that joy and good humour will always win out over life’s trials.
Madagascan accordionist Régis Gizavo accompanies Lura on the tracks Marinhêro, Na Nha Rubera and Sukundida (the last two are the catchiest on the album). The sugary 60s backing vocals of Queima Roupa, one of the three songs written by Mario Lucio, form a delightful conclusion to the album. As a bonus, Canta Um Tango is the work of the group Kantango with lyrics by Teofilo Chantre. Recorded in Naples, the track gently establishes its post-modern tango credentials.

On “Eclipse”, Lura takes a loving, soulful look at the full musical range of her country, the different Cape Verdean genres from coladera to funana. Full of verve and energy, but also with more ingenuous touches, her voice again makes all the difference. Yet as she modestly confides: “My career has been a continual surprise to me since I discovered my voice in adolescence until now. I take it one day at a time, but I’ll be a singer for the rest of my life. I’m sure of it. I don’t know why.”
Well, we do know why when we listen to “Eclipse”. This fourth album confirms the immense talent of Lura, jewel of the new Cape Verdean generation.