Different World CD

The name Liana brings goose bumps to fado purists. Liana is a 24-year old Portuguese singer with an immense talent. From a very young age on, she's been singing and winning prizes. A highlight of her career thus far was the role of the young Amalia Rodrigues in the musical Amalia. So you might assume that Liana is strongly anchored and committed to the traditional fado.

Well, yes and no. Her voice and control are very traditional - a bit edgy and harsh here and there but most of all strong. On her debut CD, Liana teams up with Tiago Machado, known for his work with another new fadista, Mariza. Here Tiago adds synthesizer loops and samples to the traditional fado accompaniment. That's the precise reason for the goose bumps mentioned earlier. But he and Liana don't merely add modern instruments to old fado songs. For starters, they base their pieces on the lyrics of poems by such famous Portuguese writers as Fernando Pessoa, Florbela Espanca, Miguel Torga, David Mourão Ferreira, Ary dos Santos and Manuel Alegre. Then they add a mix of fado, modern lounge and world music for a very intriguing musical bouillabaisse that always remains mindful of the soul and spirit of fado, the Blues of Portugal. Wether Liana is accompanied by traditional Portuguese guitar virtuoso Custodio Castelo of Cristina Branco fame or by electric guitar, bass and sax or a string quartet, she ventilates her emotions with power and conviction.

The most striking song on the CD is the tango/fado "Estrela Del Tarde" which proves that both genres are very close, with Liana's greatest talent the undistilled communication of her emotions. Whereas another newer fadista -- Dulce Pontes -- is desperately trying to find her way, Liana has definitely found hers already. If her first album is an example of things to come, the future of fado seems finally secured.