REVIEW: Canção by Lara Martins

This debut album from the performer is filled with a diverse range of styles that celebrate music from around the world.

I have to say before listening to this gorgeously rich and varied album I wasn’t familiar with the music of Astor Piazzolla, Daniel Bernardes and Camargo Guarnieri – yet after listening I understand why Martins selected their work to concentrate on.

Filled with rich layers of sound and emotional core, thanks to not only the soulful quality of Lara Martins voice but also the accompaniment from Olga Amaro, João Gentil, Filipe Quaresma and Daniel Bernardes- all of whose performances enrich the experience beautifully.

With songs such as Astor Pizzolla’s ‘Balada para un Loco’, there is a real sense of character and storytelling that sets up the album nicely. With her voice, Martins is able to showcase her theatrical skills vocally enhanced by her performance as Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera, drawing out the drama beautifully – which is also highlighted in her rendition of ‘Los pájaros perdidos’.

The album also features some lovely world premieres – including the first complete recording of Camargo Guarnieri’s thirteen love songs, all of which are performed with great control and emotion. Each of the songs in this section of the album such as ‘Talvez’ and ‘Acalanto Do Amor Feliz’ have a wonderful delicacy about them that allows the listener to really appreciate the pitch perfectness of Martins voice.

Unless you have a strong understanding of Portugese it is difficult to interpret the meaning of the songs – but given that Martins is able to add such depth and expression to each one you still feel as though you do understand on some level as you can tell on ‘ Maria De Buenos Aires: Milonga De La Anunciación’ -which has soft and velvety undertones that makes for fascinating listen.

As a debut album that was recorded during lockdown – I can only imagine just how stressful it was to make but the quality in which has been produced here – you would never suspect it was made during a pandemic. A lovely way to travel the world through music.

By Emma Clarendon

Canção is available to buy now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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