Marina Rossell / Cap Al Cel
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Marina Rossell
Cap Al Cel
World Village

cd cover Spanish singer Rossell is a chanteuse in the grand, emotive style of Edith Piaf. On Cap a Cel, she takes eleven Catalan songs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and makes them her own, with intensely personal interpretations and fresh, contemporary arrangements. Rossell has a richly textured voice that's just packed with honest passion. Her backup musicians, on piano, acoustic and electric guitars, accordion, percussion and other instruments, provide a subtle, supportive backdrop that allows her voice and the poetry of the songs to shine through. "Mare de Deu del Món (Mother of God of the World)" gets a chugging cabaret treatment, complete with oom-pah accordion, which seems incongruous to its lyrics, but works beautifully. She reprises it in the bonus track in a slightly thinned out but equally effective version. The deceptively cheery "Els contrabandists (The smugglers)" is a story of treachery and bloodshed. "Cant Espiritual (Spiritual)" is a moody musing on faith, beauty, fear, and death.

The lyrics of the tender lullaby "Dorm, nino (Sleep, child)" have the vibrant wash of a watercolor. Thank goodness that the producers opted to translate the Catalan lyrics into English, Spanish, and French. The words are so evocative and poetic that it would have been a shame not to understand them, though Rossell's singing carries so much emotional depth that translations are almost unnecessary. There's not a false step on Cap Al Cel. The listener walks away feeling privileged to have been taken into Rossell's confidence. - Peggy Latkovich

CD available at cdRoots

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