Best of Mariza
In concert Portugal’s Mariza is one of the wonders of the world: the epitome of grace and elegance, while her magnificent voice spears hearts and quickens central nervous systems. This 23-track compilation draws on six previous albums and attempts to snare the super-committed with three new tracks.
One of these, the jolly E Ou Nao E?, is actually the album’s weak link. Mariza is at her best shredding hearts with the operatic scale of tragedy contained in most traditional fado songs, while a Portuguese guitar rings out its exquisite embellishments. Primavera and Cavaleiro Monge, for instance, provide the sort of potent musical experience that could change a life for ever.
The pick of the new tracks is a glorious cover of Chaplin’s Smile, sung in English against stark piano. Having three of her collaborations with other singers – Concha Buika, Miguel Proveda and Jose Merce – grouped together makes for a strong ending, but this far from the best possible Mariza compilation. I’d opt for her live Concert Em Lisboa, instead – or just buy the entire collection!