Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lula Pena - Archivo Pittoresco

Archivo Pittoresco is a treasure box of an album, and a strong argument for embracing variety in life.  The work of Portuguese artist Lula Pena, the lyrics are sourced from various writers, as well as Pena herself.  She sings in her native language, French, English, Spanish, Greek, and Italian.  Pena is accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, but with her gorgeous voice and impeccable phrasing, anything else likely would be a distraction.

The songs are gentle and flowing, including folk, French chanson, fado and bossa nova styles, among others, but all elements yield to Pena's inspired interpretations.  Pena has written that the album is based on 19th century landscape painters.  With my limited language facility, I confess to be a bit adrift in following that part of the plot, but my deficiencies in that regard to not affect my appreciation for the music.

Archivo Pittoresco is out now via Belgian label Crammed Discs.

Crammed Discs page for album

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