Four Quarters Entertainment (www.fourquartersent.com)
I saw Lura onstage for the first time when she was touring in support of her second album M'bem di Flora. My concert-going companion and I agreed that Lura's live performance had a magic that her studio recordings, good though they were, lacked. To me it was the almost entirely acoustic sound of her ensemble that accounted for the warmth, along with the fact of having the barefoot, utterly entrancing Lura there in person.
Eclipse, the Portuguese-born Cape Verdean singer's latest, comes closest to capturing the intimacy she radiates live as well as being her most accomplished and varied work to date. For every track that treads the melancholic landscape that Cesaria Evora made famous (the title piece and "Terra'L" among them) there's a surprise like the distinct Arabic feel to the opening "Libramor." Shades of Angola and Mozambique cover "Maria," "Na Nha Rubera" sounds like equal parts Cape Verde and Cape Town and the galloping beat of "Tabanka" shows that Lura can sing just as ably against backgrounds not particularly lush. Actually she's in great voice throughout, her tones not merely charming but ever more confident as she makes her way through material that goes further beyond Cape Verde than she's yet gone. Where Lura's first two albums hinted at the arrival of a major new star in Cape Verdean music, Eclipse is that arrival. - Tom Orr
The artist's web site includes a nice selection of full tracks from the CD
CD available from Amazon