Your boss calls you into her office, tells you she “hates this part of the job” and lets you know you’ve been laid off. Don’t throttle her. Don’t have Grey Goose for dinner. Instead, listen to the song “Sumanai” by Sarah Tavares.
Tavares knows how to smooth your frantic brain waves into rolling ocean waves. A minute into the song and you’re on the beach, toes in the water, too relaxed to care about that #!?&!@ job.
Such is the power of Tavares’ lovely voice, whether she’s singing in Portuguese (she is a native of Portugal), Cape Verdean Creole (her parents immigrated to Portugal from the African nation) or stilted English.
Sumanai, which means…actually, I have no idea [Ximena addresses this in her comment from Sept. 3o]. I searched for over an hour to find lyrics or hints from album reviews; I looked at Portuguese- and Cape Verdean Creole-to-English web sites, and I got nothin’. [see Robb’s translation in his Oct. 1 comment]
No matter. For me, Sumanai is all about a feeling. “Xinti,” the name of the album on which Sumanai appears, means “to feel.”
Sumanai feels natural, with cheery Soukous-style guitar work (think Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints”) and light percussion creating a great atmosphere for conversation, long laughs and kisses. Visiting Tavares’ musical world, my worries are far, far away.
Listen to the song “Sumanai,” on the album, “Xinti” by Sara Tavares, released Aug. 11, 2009, Four Quarters. Websites: http://www.saratavares.com and http://www.myspace.com/saratavares. Tavares has a fan page on Facebook.
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