Label: RCA Victor
On her debut album, Mayra Andrade sings of "Nha sibitchi," a black pearl used to ward off the evil eye. Navega might just be Andrade's sibitchi. The album sways like Cape Verdean palm trees in the breeze, but underneath the airy allure (courtesy of wonderful French session musicians) lies real power: evocative storytelling, political poems doubling as lyrics and a revival of Cape Verdean musical styles that were banished under colonial rule. All this, delivered by a singer who can't keep the smile out of her voice. The album feels like balm for the spirit; consider us completely charmed.