Portugal, 1971, música de intervenção / contemporary folk / singer-songwriter

José AfonsoCantigas do Maio

In my quest for non-English language folk, I stumbled upon this giant. Kind of hard to miss when you narrow your field to what I did. This is the album that introduced me to música de intervenção, a specific brand of protest music in Portugal in the 60s and 70s. Very much homegrown anti-colonial music. Although I do not speak Portuguese, I appreciate the songwriters’ skill at couching their criticism of political leaders in metaphors that the censors were too dense to detect. The strong fado backbone of this music communicates admirably-constrained passion, for if you are trying to persuade, you must communicate and not lose control of your message. Some powerful, haunting moments herein.

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