In the past 4 years, Sergio Mendes has put out at least 3 albums with modern touches and flair, but not shying away from the overall quality that has made him one of the legends of the music scene. To me there are not many composers and musicians that dwell within the realm of 'genius' but Sergio Mendes is one of them. In the 00's he released albums of new material & refreshed classics with help and contributions from the talented Will-I-Am of the Black Eyed Peas. The first, "Timeless", was a successful fusion of cultures and styles which featured a wealth of popular musicians from both the US and Brasil, among other places. The follow-up, "Encanto", was every bit as exceptional to me. But on both albums there were pleas to go with the a certain sound. More specifically, to tap into the 'Brasileiro' roots of the music and focus. This is where "Bom Tempo" comes in. Re-uniting with Carlinhos Brown, who contributed quite a bit with the previous two albums and before even this (remember "Brasileiro" and "Oceano") you're given a summer soundtrack!
Whereas the last few albums had several hits and misses, this one was more consistent to me. It's the perfect soundtrack for the summer - the summer of the 2010 World Cup. Light, fantastically produced, terrific instrumentation. It starts out festive (but not tooo festive) with "Emorio", which has a pretty interesting medley of a few of the hits from some of his more recent albums (A Ra, Mas Que Nada, Surfboard, etc.) along with some good hommage mixed in (Aquelle Abraco!). "Maracatu Atomico" is given a funky update thanks in part to Mario Caldato Jr. with Seu Jorge on vocals. "You and I", featuring Carlinhos Brown and Nayanna Holley was really sweet. A song I really love is "Orpheus" and I enjoyed this rendition of it. Another highlight to the album is "Maracatu" (Nation of Love/April Child). It really is a beautiful, wonderful title sung by Gracinha and Seu Jorge. Finally - I also really liked "Caxanga" (also referred to as "Escravos Do Jo"). Milton Nascimento lent his voice on this one. And the final song, a classic of Jobim, was well done with a neat beat - "So Tinha De Ser Com Voce".
I couldn't reference all of the titles, but those were my favorites. However not every song grabbed me. I'm more used to Seu Jorge using the subtlety & coolness in his voice like he did in a show with Ana Carolina so this was a bit of a breakaway to me since here he was shouting. The rap did take away some of the charm from the tracks as well. But as a plus there was a noticeable hommage to Moacir Santos on this (Orpheus, April Child) that made me want to listen to his albums again. And with Sergio's wife Gracinha available along with other talented artists from today and yesterday, this album is a treat that you won't want to miss this summer. If you like this, note that there is already a remix album available which has some pretty good takes, albeit some of which are much more club oriented. You'll also want to check out Moacir Santos, his album "Ouro Negro" released maybe 7-8 years ago. And of course, check out other albums Carlinhos Brown has been a part of. Really about 4 stars, but this album is a 'Good Time' and is sure to put a smile on your face.