Under the Radar (11): Cristina Branco

When a literary heavyweight and Nobel Prize candidate like António Lobo Antunes writes lyrics for you, you’re playing Pop’s pantheon. On her 11th album Fado/ Tango (also released as Não Ha Só Tangos em Paris, for whatever reasons), Portuguese fadista Cristina Branco fuses the solemn Fado heritage of predecessors like Amália Rodrigues with Tango’s seductiveness, also frenchifying her spectrum with a fine cover version of Brel’s Les Désespérés, and a jaunty musical setting of L’Invitation au Voyage from Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. High in the charts in Portugal last spring, this one found far too few listeners in the rest of the world. Bandoneons rule!

Cristina Branco – Les Désespérés
Cristina Branco – L’Invitation au Voyage