by Sara Tavares
Released: May 2009
Label: World Connection BV / Times Square
It's hard to fathom anything more beguilingly mellow than Tavares' beach-hued Balance, but somehow her second album is even more like a slow, delicious summer afternoon -- which is not to say it lacks energy. Xinti ("Feel it") has plenty to feel with Tavares' smoky, sunny vocals and an aesthetic blend ranging from Brazilian pop to African highlife to the reggae-cumbia-neo-soul of "Bue." Even as it drifts off into lullaby territory near the end (the dreamlike "Fundi Ku Mi"), the album still hums with a subtle buzz, drawing you in and enticing you to sink into the experience.