MERCEDES SOSA Corazón Libre 4741982

With this authoritative, engaging disc, Mercedes Sosa reminds fans across the globe that she remains a vital interpreter of common struggles and dreams, and her voice is still a world treasure.

This Argentian songstress, who just turned seventy years old, continues to rise to the top with her spectacular and powerful voice. She has charisma that reaches through to the listener, making a long-lasting impression. One of her biggest hits, "Todo Cambia" (Everything Changes), is revamped by Mercedes in this album and the song speaks to the suffering earth, the forgotten street children and lost love . . .
Renowned for her messages of peace, international integration, defense of human rights and artistic and personal integrity, Mercedes continues as the magnificent legend that her 35 year career has spanned. Afficionados of her music will be enthralled by the simple clarity of her inspired compositions that touch the heart.

Mercedes Sosa is releasing her first album in three years, "Corazón Libre" (Deutsche Grammophon), Tuesday. The 70-year-old was a founding figure of the nueva canción movement, which featured Argentine and Cuban singers who sang in a folk style about people's politics. "Corazón Libre" explores such traditional Argentine rhythms as
zamba, chacarera, tonada and chamamé. Sosa focuses on contemporary songs by Argentine poets and songwriters, and her voice sounds as robustly moving as ever.

Sosa has always used her songs to condemn social injustice while reviving the folk music of her native Argentina. There is a fascinating contrast at play here: the singer's soaring vocals are backed by sparse, acoustic arrangements on this set of miliongas und chacareras. But Sosa's solemn delivery underscores the heaviness of songs like "Los Ninos de Nuestro Olvido", which describes a kid from a South American metropolis dreaming of a warm home while sniffing glue and living in the streets.

Here's a tough album by one of Latin America's toughest singer/songwriters. Sosa has always used her songs to condemn social injustice while reviving the folk music of her native Argentina. There's a fascinating contrast at play here: the singer's soaring vocals are backed by sparse, acoustic arrangements on this set of milongas and charcareras.

In Argentina, Mercedes Sosa is known as one of the major voices of "nuevo cancion" (new song), a politically charged movement that included many of the best South American folksingers of the 1960s and '70s. Sosa's recent disc spotlights her beautifully pure contralto. Here, she receives the support of an ideal all-acoustic backing group adept at interpreting diverse regional rhythms.

Having turned seventy years old and of fragile health in recent years, her recordings have been spare -- with live recordings filling wider gaps between those with new songs -- which makes this release even a stronger reason to rejoice.
As far as this album is concerned, the wait has been amply justified. Mercedes has chosen an intimate ensemble for these offerings, the accompaniment consists of musicians with whom she's played for many years, and the few instruments and austere -- yet heartfelt -- arrangements in each song focused on her exquisite voice and the mastery of her interpretations.
To select songs for singular praise is quite difficult since every one of these tracks is magnificent, whether they are songs she's not sung before or those who she's chosen to sing again with new arrangements. That said, there are several which deserve attention and promise special delight.
Among the new songs, "Corazón Libre" which is bound for addition to her long list of classics, "País," "Tonada del Otońo," "Tonada del Viejo Amor" -- a duet with the legendary Eduardo Falú- and "Y la Milonga lo Sabe" are stunning in depth and simplicity.
When it comes to new versions, "Todo Cambia," a song that has reached hymn-like status in Argentina since she first sung it, shines brightly. Furthermore, her choice of recording it in a slower and quieter form, brings to the fore new dimensions and nuances -- at least it's true in my case -- that you may not have fully appreciated before.
All in all, Mercedes Sosa has made another pearl of an album, and if her voice may not always have the chant-like power of earlier recordings, it has not lost any of the heart and wisdom she's known for infusing her songs with. Whenever I listen to this album I'm reminded of the poet Stanley Kunnitz when he says "I am not done with my changes" because Mercedes is clearly not done with hers. May God bless her.

Mercedes Sosa, truly a living legend, is on fine form even in her 80s. ... ˇMaravillosa!

The Argentine legend, long exiled from her homeland for voicing antimilitaristic sentiments, marks her 70th birthday with this landmark disc that simultaneously celebrates her illustrious past and a future filled with promise.

Es sind zwar ruhigere Töne, die sie hier anschlägt -- trotzdem wird Mercedes Sosa ihrem Ruf als die "Stimme Lateinamerikas" mehr als gerecht: mit 16 Liedern, die allein schon durch ihre kraftvolle, charismatische Stimme mitreißen.

Auch hier verzaubert sie die Menschen: Latin-Folk und Stücke zeitgenössischer Dichter schweben in seidiger, akustisch geprägter Atmosphäre, die raumgreifend und dynamisch klingt.

Mit 70 hat die "Stimme Lateinamerikas" nichts von ihrer Ausdruckskraft verloren, die sie einst zur Symbolfigur des argentinischen Widerstandes prädestinierte.

Wenn auch die Lieder leiser und schwermütiger geworden sind -- ihr Charisma ist ungebrochen . . . In den tragischen 1970er Jahren, als ein terroristischer Unterdrückungsapparat die gesamte Gesellschaft kontrollierte, wurde sie zur Hoffnung eines ganzen Kontinents und schließlich zum Symbol eines neuen demokratischen Argentinien.

Su nuevo disco, "Corazón libre", intenta reflejar todo le que defiende Mercedes Sosa, con el agregado de la emoción, la sensibilidad y el sentimiento que pone en cada canción.

Mercedes Sosa es una institución de la canción latinoamericana . . .