Sofía Tosello has a voice that invites you to dream and snaps you awake when reality stings.
Those who have followed her over time are imprinted with its variety. She shares, in this collection, the genre that is her forte, spanning a century of tango with its songs, pattering the present with drops of the past.
Time flows freely in Lluvia fue (Chamber Tango), from the ’30s, through the Golden Age, the ferment of Piazzolla and into this century. Twelve composers and nine lyricists are represented. The lyrics address ex-lovers, the bandoneón, Buenos Aires, society gone bad, or, introspectively, the singer herself. They ask, implore, plead and demand: “tell me a story” (Contame una historia), “speak to me of your failure… talk to me simply of that absent love” (La última curda), “let me see the leaves of dawn” (Conjuro del alba), “Go!” (Fuimos), “moan, bandoneón, your grey tango” (Nostalgias). And turn inwards: to memory, dream and reflection, to rain that depresses, as in Fuimos, or refreshes, as in Lluvia fue (the title song). In De barro, a puddle of mud is a glass of remembered dreams.
Tosello gets, in such songs, that it is hard but beautiful to remember the past. Her voice is preternaturally poignant, eliciting feeling at least as great as she expresses. Emotion flows in a wave through the song to the listener. Nostalgia, in her world, is loss washed with hope. She’s confident and assertive. Her devil-may-care consonants, in songs like Hambre and Al mundo le falta un tornillo, suggest a milonguita of the streets, the sort encountered in a tango show or sainete, mastering the world with syllables that snap like switchblades and dismiss with a tease.
Fernando Otero’s arrangements create a chamber texture of astounding richness, adding, now and then, a touch of dissonance. Pedro Giraudo’s bass, Nick Danielson’s violin, Adam Fisher’s cello, Yuri Júarez and Adam Tully’s guitars, Omar Massa’a bandoneón, and Otero’s piano have their own spirits and personalities, supported in their character by the great voice at the project’s core.