Portuguese singer Cristina Branco’s voice is gorgeous, pure and light. She sings in the music tradition known as fado, which translates as "fate". It’s a style that can be traced to the working class areas of Lisbon in the 19th century, but probably has much older influences. Traditionally, fado has tended to be a melancholy genre, focusing on the acceptance of both the pain and sorrow of what life brings, but Branco’s interpretation of fado is more optimistic.
Her latest album, Ulisses, showcases her beautiful voice in a collection of both traditional and original songs sung in Portuguese, French and English. It includes a lovely version of Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You, and several memorable melodies composed by her guitarist on the album, Custódio Castelo. Some of the traditional songs seemed a little repetitious to me, but her voice is beautiful throughout.