Personnel: Cesaria Evora (vocals); Joao Pina Alves (12-string guitar, cavaquinho, background vocals); Julian Corrales Subida (violin); Antonio Domingos Gomes Fernandes (saxophone, percussion, background vocals); Fernando Andrade (piano, background vocals); Virgilio Julio Duarte (acoustic bass); Admiro Jose Miranda (percussion); Antonio Alves (cavquinho, background vocals).
VOZ D'AMOR won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
Cesaria Evora's umpteenth album since being rediscovered in the late 1980s, VOZ D'AMOR is a return to the minimalism of the singer's Cape Verdean morna roots. This move is underlined by the inclusion of "Isolada," written by her late uncle, Francisco Xavier da Cruz, who, under the pseudonym B. Leza, was one of the most influential figures in Cape Verdean music. Accompanied by spare instrumentation, Evora's soft, dignified voice is all that's really needed to carry these songs, which encompass topics as diverse as love for her home island ("Nha Coracao Tchora"), ill-mannered young girls ("Saia Travada"), and stolen kisses ("Beijo Roubado").
"Jardim Prometido" appropriates the melody of the Brothers Four's '60s hit "Greenfields," as morna has expertly done with melodies and genres since Cape Verdeans first started singing, while the stately rhythms of "Mar De Canal" are reminiscent of Portuguese fado. VOZ D'AMOR is a beautiful collection of seemingly effortless musical and vocal virtuosity made all the more astonishing by its apparent simplicity.
Q (3/04, p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The intimate settings, generally given shape by delicate acoustic guitar and piano, allow Evora to infuse both uptempo set-pieces and nigh-on funereal blues with a dazzling intensity."
Uncut (3/04, p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Perfect for baths, romantic dinners and dreaming about deserted islands in the sun."