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Songlines Magazine, June 2012

Unsung songbird of saudade

How sad it is for Cape Verde and the world that we no longer have Cesaria Evora. Yet how wonderful that we have Titina. Like Evora, Titina grew up not merely with the music of the founding father of modern Cape Verde music, B Leza, but with the composer himself. She reportedly sat in his lap at six years old singing his songs. And like Evora she has a haunting voice soaked with that uniquely Lusitanian mood of nostalgia and regret: saudade.
This is a wonderful compilation, showcasing a career’s worth of work – from crackly early material like ‘Stanhadinha’ to more recent, lush, seductive mornas such as the opener, ‘Terra Longe’ and the slow and sultry ‘Separação’.

In Cape Verde, Titina is almost as famous as Evora was and, like Evora, she has been decorated for her contributions to music. Yet away from home she remains little known. Let’s hope this CD goes some way to amending that.

Alex Robinson