Lura: Eclipse

Four Quarters

Lura sings with a smile on her face. The smile is audible; it tilts the emphases of her pronunciation upwards. Describing her as a younger, nonsmoking Cesária Évora is partly right yet partly wrong. She follows the same Cape Verdean musical tradition but is more likely to try new styles, mess around with the styles she already has, test fresh singing ideas or toss in new instruments like the accordion that comes to the fore on “Na Nha Rubera”.

If Évora can be said to possess a single idea that she ploughs deeply and steadily, then Lura has a number of ideas through which she glides lightly and clearly. For the first few tracks, Eclipse sounds as if it’s going to be angled in a laid-back café direction, then it changes tempo, growing excited for “Maria”, slowing down in “Terra’l” and closing with an unheralded tango. A sunny-sounding album, even when the lyrics tell you about weeping orphans and men poisoning themselves with alcohol, Eclipse seems to be asking you not to make too much of it.

RATING 6 / 10