Sunday, 3 May 2015

CD Review: Madalena Alberto – Don’t Cry For Me

“The answer was here all the time”

Capitalising on her long-running stint in the UK tour of Evita which culminated in a stint at the Dominion Theatre, Madalena Alberto’s 2014 album relies heavily on that role, featuring three songs from that show as well as using it for its title. Her versions of ‘Don’t Cry For Argentina’ and ‘You Must Love Me’ are naturally both very good but it is the heartfelt ‘Lament’ that really shows how good she was in the role, slowly building to a fiercely emotional climax with a heartbreaking finale.

Elsewhere she delves further into the world of musical theatre, tackling standards like Cabaret’s ‘Maybe This Time’ and lesser known work like Jekyll and Hyde’s ‘Someone Like You’ (in which she starred at the Union) with an equal gusto, and a nicely restrained (and beautifully arranged ) wander through Blood Brothers’ ‘Easy Terms’ brings a lovely inquisitive quality to the storytelling, reflecting Alberto’s roots as a singer-songwriter of no little quality.

This delicate restraint is also in evidence on some of the pop covers she’s chosen here too – the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Tender’ becomes something like a soothingly gentle lullaby in her hands and the Everly Brothers’ ‘Let It Be Me’ mines a similar vein of mildness. It’s only with the album’s final track that we get some of the Portuguese Alberto’s native spirit with the self-penned ‘Hispanic Feeling’ which rounds things off beautifully as well as demonstrating where her passion is most effectively strongest.

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