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Mercedes Sosa: Cantora an Upright Last Offering

img  Tobias

As an immediate consequence, the stylistic cocktail dished up on Cantora is eclectic to say the least. This is not a typical posthumous „Best Of“ or „Greatest Hits“-compilation, but an upright  last offering of an artist who has never stood still despite her dedication to particular forms and recognisable elements in her performance. Blending Latinamerican Folk, Pop, Chanson, Blues and even HipHop, it spans a bridge from the past to the present in a bid of establishing the ongoing relevance of long lines of tradition. Effectively, Mercedes Sosa has left a massive legacy of songs that should keep her relevant for years to come – underlined by the fact that Cantora was quickly awarded Platinum in Argentina.

The impression conveyed by Cantora is one of an artist at the peak of her artistic and physical abilities. In reality, however, it mist be considered a miracle that the record was recorded at all considering her frail constitution. Respiratory problems had troubled her over the past years in addition to various other ailments. On the other hand, Mercedes Sosa has always seemed strongest as a singer. Once asked by an interviewer how she had managed to sound so powerful on one of her comeback-concerts, she replied: „I have no clue. I felt very, very weak.“ Sosa also described the horror of being imprisoned by the junta and the sufferings of her time spent in exile. And yet her ideals were anything but the stuff revolutions are usually made of: „My utopia is a world where everyone has something to eat, clothes to wear and a decent apartment. A world where there is no longer a place for slums. Where a worker can be proud of his work and proud of being a worker.“

Cantora now displays the full range of her oeuvre. From string-laden ballad „Zona des Promesas“ and the Fiddle-fueled, jazzy Folk of „Sea“ to the elegant Latinamerican rhythms of „El Angel de la Bicicleta“, the album captures a representative image of her entire life. Only one song is missing. Around 2003, Mercedes Sosa started studying „Imagine“ by John Lennon after having witnessed its tremendous impact during a performance at Rome's Colosseum. She was determined to record it one day. But even on grandiosely designed Cantora, she wasn't able to fulfill that prospect.

Homepage: Mercedes Sosa
Homepage: Sony Music
Homepage: Interview with Mercedes Sosa (in German)

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