If there is a truth about music, somewhere in between the beauty of the atmospheres created and the senses' exhilaration, it can surely be found on Madredeus' compositions.
This Portuguese group has been growing a worldwide fan base, from Europe to Japan, since its formation in the late '80s, largely due to its natural genius for producing exquisite orchestrations.
Bringing together some of the substance of Portuguese traditional music, along with a natural spirit for universal musical inflections, Madredeus gives away nearly angelic effects within its sound.
Antologia is a compilation of some of the group's best songs; however, it is almost impossible to make a best-of, when the musicians' true quality is exhibited on nearly every melody they compose.
Most of the songs appearing on this album (as on almost every other Madredeus record) were composed by Pedro Ayres Magalhães, a veteran of the Portuguese rock scene and one of the group's founding members.
Madredeus' performance also strongly relies on the fascinating voice of Teresa Salgueiro, revealing the Portuguese natural fado singing tradition, but also an impressive liaison with lyrical chants.
"A Vaca de Fogo" ("The Holy Cow"), a theme of the album Os Dias da Madredeus, and "O Pastor" ("The Shepherd"), taken from Existir, are perhaps the most celebrated compositions presented here.
These are also two of the group's most joyful numbers, in which the rhythm of the acoustic guitars along with the enchanted presence of the accordion is completed with the captivating vocals of Salgueiro.
However, on themes like "Haja o Que Houver" ("Come What May") and "Ainda" ("Still..."), the record also perpetuates the melancholic and gloomy effects present on most of Madredeus' conceptions.