Portuguese fadista Mariza achieved immediate critical acclaim with the release of her debut record, Fado em Mim, last year.

Portuguese fadista Mariza achieved immediate critical acclaim with the release of her debut record, Fado em Mim, last year. She picked up the BBC Radio3 World Music Award for best European artist in March, and now we have her new album, Fado Curvo. This new work is exciting. Mariza has selected most of the material from poems; appropriate for fado, a genre that encompasses the heartache of the blues and the sheer romance of the tango. Accompanied by sparse, lyrical arrangements, Mariza's performance reveals more than just the power of her voice. The wonderful nuance and timbre she brings to "Menino do Bairro Negro" is as captivating as her soaring, heart-rending, vocal on "Primavera." Also, judging by the arrangement and the meaning of the title track, Mariza may be not only a superb fadista but also one who will shape the fado to her vision. Racked in the U.S. by Koch.—PVV