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Tears Of A Queen by Ramana Vieira

Vocalist Ramana Vieira is perched beautifully between torchlight blues and operatic fires. Her latest release Lagrimas de Rainha, which translated in English is Tears Of A Queen, has Spanish/ Portuguese overtones with Gypsy-tinged accents and smooth jazz pruning. Her songs are chin-deep in Fado imagery, a style of music that is melancholic and tells stories about heartache and disappointment similarly to the blues. Vieira’s vocals have a poetic resonance that makes the listener hang on every word and feel for the stories being told in the verses without possibly even understanding what is being said. Vieira’s songs transcend language barriers through her expressive style and smooth vocal textures. This is music that you can imagine being sung in the streets of Lisbon, the commercial hubs of Madrid, and the piazzas of Florence. The songs appeal to the masses and infiltrate the senses in a way that breathes warmth into the soul and supplies a healing salve over wounds.

Vieira’s music is like a bridge that connects old world idioms to modern pop influences and Gypsy-jazz madrigals. These are songs that are ideal to court a lady with, like the lucent pearly tones of "O Peso Do Mundo" which means "The Weight Of The World" in English. Other tracks rally crowds with their anthematic appeal like in "My Country Portugal" and the beautifully conceived "This Is My Fado." Vieira sings these songs with such heart and earnest conviction that she influences the listener to join her. The fidelity in her voice is unwavering and the passion in her singing embraces the listener’s emotions immediately like in the simmering soft-pop intonations of "United In Love" featuring dazzling electric guitar licks and light fluttering piano keys. The flighty percussive charm of "Coimbra" has an exotic beating as violin strings writhe gently in the silky mists of the Spanish-flavored guitar chords. Soft cascading acoustics line tracks like "Fado Marujo" and "Foi Deus" with sheer reverence for the object of the lyrics, and the lacy guitar stays of the title track are shadowed in mournful vocals and solemn atmospherics which produce a cavernous environment. The upbeat tempo of "Povo Que Lavas No Rio" has a Gypsy-swagger, and Vieira’s tribute to famous Fado singer Amalia Rodrigues in "Amalia" is seared with soft willowy silhouettes and a blissful sway carrying the somber escapes.

Ramana Vieira beings the 15th century style of Fado into the 21st century. Her songs hark of traditional values and contemporary influences with bluesy pop traits peeking through the folds. Many of the songs on Vieira’s CD Tears Of A Queen are inspired by Portuguese singer Amalia Rodrigues, who has been portrayed worldwide as the "Rainha do Fado" or "Queen Of Fado." Vieira entrenched herself in Portuguese culture and its music through her grandfather, a famous musician and composer from Madeira Island, Portugal. Vieira’s songs are regal with exotic rhythms and warm esthetics that wrap the melodies in a beauty which appeals instinctively to the masses.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ramana Vieira
  • CD Title: Tears Of A Queen
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
  • Tracks: Coimbra, Fado Marujo (Fado Of The Sailor), Foi Deus (It Was God), Lagrimas de Rainha (Tears Of A Queen), Lagrimas Caladas (Silent Tears), Povo Que Lavas No Rio (People That Wash In The River), Amalia, Maria Lisboa, My Country Portugal, O Peso Do Mundo (The Weight Of The World), This Is My Fado, United In Love
  • Musicians: Ramana Vieira (vocals/piano), Jeffrey Luiz (nylon string guitar), Alberto Ramirez (bass), Marcie Brown (cello), Steve La Porta (drums and percussion), Benito Cortez (violin), Didier Bouvet (guitar), Victor Owens (keyboards), Amelia Remeta (background vocals), and Robert Randles (keyboards)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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