Review ·

The second solo release by Portuguese guitarist Norberto Lobo is a varied affair. He uses both six and twelve strings to explore an array of styles, and the album ranges from romantic to atonal, showing Lobo at home with both.

“Marquise Quantica,” “Do Alto Da Faia” and the odd choice of Bjork’s “Unravel” have a richness of tone and a confidence of ambition that give them a classic feel. Lobo has obviously lived with his instruments a long time, and he knows when he can tap them for extra depth. Underlying all adventures, as is usually the case with visionary guitarists, is the blues. The Delta provides the foundation for even his more Caribbean-derived songs.

Lobo has played with the likes of Rhys Chatham, Gary Lucas and Devendra Banhart, but here he keeps his sound closer to home, toward home with his sound, often evoking that sad but eternal tone that the Spanish call Duende. And, for all its dexterity, Pata Lenta, is not a show-off piece. Lobo clearly has absorbed the soul of several genres. By stripping them down and limiting himself to only an acoustic guitar, he has bared the soul of those styles. They are in good hands with this poetic, graceful guitarist.

 

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