Brasilidade

Wednesday’s child has far to go, so Wednesday reviews should be for music from parts both far and wide. Today’s Wide World of Music casts some sunshine on Brazil’s Bossacucanova and their excellent release, Brasilidade.

Bossacucanova collaborated with one of the founders of the Bossa Nova sound, Roberto Menescal, to revisit 12 classics of the Bossa Nova’s heyday in the late 60s. Although the songs are familiar, they receive some new arrangements and the occasional updated percussion dance beat to renew them for the 21st century.

I like the whole album. It’s jaunty, warm, and smooth going like a glass of fresh mango juice. It kicks off with “Telefone,” a comic tune that’s perfect for wrangling your way out of a crowded parking lot or pulling out into a busy street. It’s the streets of São Paulo pouring out of my speakers! The mood kicks back for “Nana” before getting into a great, rich, strong vocal in “Rio” that’s straight out of Brasil ’66’s playbook.

Next up is the clever samba, “Guanabara.” I close my eyes when I hear this track and I find myself wearing an ice cream suit with a white fedora, somewhere near the coast of Bahia. It’s tropical perfection, no two ways about it. We then arrive at the classic, “Agua de Beber,” which Bossacucanova bring to a new-

OK, I hear you interrupting me… am I writing a review or liner notes? I guess I *do* love the album that much. It’s great for chilling out, driving around, trying to forget the winter, or getting in the mood to have some summer fun. Other reviewers have said pretty much the same. It’s upbeat, uptempo, and uptown.

I suppose one could criticize it if one was a curmudgeon or some punk kid that can’t get into any music that doesn’t curse a swear within 20 seconds of the beginning of a song. But I’m writing my reviews for people with good taste in tunes, so fie on those nay-sayers that believe music shouldn’t be happy or fun. This is a party on a plastic platter, people.

Take my strong recommendation and find out how cool the other tracks are on this album. I give it a 10 out of 10 because if I accidentally grabbed this CD on my way to the desert island instead of Machine Head, I wouldn’t be disappointed in the least.

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