Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

Yasmine – Pega nha mon

“Hold My Hand” — we’re going to the sidebar…


Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: This song is as close as we can get to the complete fulfillment of kizomba’s emotional and sonic potential. “Pega nha mon” is one of those once-in-a-year tracks where everything aligns; everything just fits perfectly, from the main acoustic guitar riff to the flute flourishes. Even the organic percussion, underlined by the tresillo claves, is mixed at just the right levels, especially in the choruses, never feeling invasive or cluttered. But of course, this show is all about the stellar vocals and melodies of Yasmine. The singer’s reputation as one of kizomba’s most romantic melodists is perfectly justified by the song’s themes of love and marriage — wonderfully illustrated by the Guinean leba cabaz wedding ritual in the video — but most importantly, by the sheer sense of wonder evoked by the pre-chorus refrains. When she reaches the end of that two-part hook with the titular phrase, it leaves you gasping for air. Her silky, zouk-influenced tone has worked to great effect before, but when it’s combined with the acoustic instruments, especially that flute in the second chorus-bridge transition, it covers you with its warmth. It feels like a tender embrace.

Leah Isobel: There’s a slight but clear tension between Yasmine’s emotive, flowing vocal and the sharp rhythmic lines drawn by the instruments. As the song tilts into its chorus, the layers stack onto each other like they’re going to explode. They… don’t. But then, the flute (the flute!!!!!) enters, twirling around above her. It releases the tension like a laugh, it’s warm like sunshine; it’s love as a waveform.

Juana Giaimo: “Pega nha mon” is the kind of song that makes it look easy. But when you listen to it more carefully you realize it’s full of beautiful details — the really soft strum of the acoustic guitar, the lovely flute, the bongos in the background and of course Yasmine’s vocals that flow incredibly effortlessly, with a cadence that reminds me of a bachata. As someone who has always been too aware about her body, this song makes me feel I could close my eyes, dance and forget about it.

Ian Mathers: I love those little flute flourishes in the back; they and the dry snare rim snaps along with the acoustic guitar and Yasmine’s vocals give “Pega nha mon” a pleasingly light, airy feel. Not lightweight, thankfully, just the kind of low-key lovely you might not consciously notice at first but that might get stuck in your head.

Dorian Sinclair: “Pega nha mon” has a gorgeously flowing shape, with the voice, guitar, and flute all braiding together for a whole greater than any of its component parts. Which is not to say those components don’t excel — Yasmine’s singing, in particular, is just so expressive. I particularly love the way she leans into the title phrase, but her conversational delivery throughout is so great at giving direction and momentum to those long, meandering vocal lines.

Nortey Dowuona: The flutter in Yasmine Carvalho’s voice is so beautiful it could shatter your heart by itself. Fortunately, she is with a curlicue guitar and softly laid drums sweeping your heart off its feet, with the heaving bass quietly painting the walls alongside the lilting flutes, encasing you in the love. Turn this up even in the bad earbuds you have and prepare to be swept away.

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One Response to “Yasmine – Pega nha mon”

  1. Sidebar, please!