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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ave Os Mutantes, 25 Feb 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
It takes a connoisseur of psychedelic rock and pop to know of (drumroll please) Os Mutantes. This short-lived Brazilian band made some of the most memorable psychedelic pop of the 1960s -- which is really saying something, given the era that they thrived in. Call it psychetropicalia.

And their self-titled debut is probably the best work they ever did, without a single dud track. "Panis et Circenses" kicks things off with a horn solo, and then with a stretch of swooning acid-pop and some angelic-sounding voices. From there on, we get a fun, perky pop song laced with more horns, keyboards and wacky sound effects.

The stuff that follows is much in the same vein, from the buzzing and swooning keyboard splendor of "Baby," the downtempo warbles of "Le Premier Bonheur du Jour," and other songs full of Brazilian spunk, sonic clutter, sixties guitar solos, piano ripples, and catchy little songs that never get old. Rooted in Brazilian tropicalia, the music has quite a few quirks and twists, but surprisingly it never becomes too weird to alienate listeners.

Os Mutantes was initially formed by Arnaldo and Sergio Baptista, who later added Rita Lee and their brother Claudio. Though the band didn't last very long, they developed a reputation for twiddling with basic Brazilian pop -- while they stayed happy and accessable, they also added in distortion, feedback, non-catchy stretches of noise, and other sound experiments. It sounds fun, doesn't it?

And actually, it is a lot of fun. The trippy bossa nova/psychedelic rock/catchy pop isn't as heavy as it sounds, but instead goes for a light, playful, deeply stoned vibe. Eerie flutes, panpipes and jungle drums get mixed in with solid guitar riffs and smooth keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar harmonize, and piano is overlaid with train whistles.

Those traditional instruments ground what could have been just another psychedelic band. And the tropicalia gives it an earthy, unique edge that most psychedelica lacks. It's gloriously catchy, and incredibly infectious. The most typical aspect of it is the vocal harmonies -- other than that, there is simply nothing to compare this to.

There hasn't really been a band like Os Mutantes since, and until someone decides to revive that underrated sound, there probably won't be again. Mad, wild, crazy, and absolute bliss from beginning to end.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are you doing wasting time reading this?, 5 Mar 2008
This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
What do you mean, you don't already own this album? Quick, buy it now, pay for the extra quick delivery. Hurray, because there can't be another day in your life that you don't own this incredible record.

Actually, I envy you. You get to hear it for the first time and jump up and down with joy when you realise that music like this really did get made. If you've ever liked late Beatles, early Floyd, Brazilian samba and Californian sunshine pop and wondered what would happen if it were all thrown together...well, here it is.

One of my all time top 10 records. Enjoy, my friends. I'm certain you will.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Wacky as It Comes, 22 Jan 2007
By 
Mr T "meltcity" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
There's no doubt the Mutants started off as a psychedelic band. They eventually turned to progressive rock (heard that story before somewhere). The thing is they seem to be equally brilliant at whatever they do. Their self-titled debut is no exception; not to be confused with the equally excellent, almost self-titled second album, Mutantes (without the `Os'). The closest comparison for me is Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn, with Rotary Connection's Aladdin bringing up the rear. But comparisons don't do much in this case because the Mutants are so original. With spaced-out yet melodic guitar and organ, crazy sound-effects aplenty and heavenly Brazilian vocals, it's definitely psych, but of a kind never heard before. Check it out...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd Probably Give This 7 Stars if I Could, 10 Nov 2008
This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
Os Mutantes were formed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1965, and were the forerunners of the Brazillian culture phenomenon known as Tropicalia. But what is this Tropicalia you speak? Well Tropicalia was a cultural revolution in Brazil in the mid to late sixties which not only affected music, but all areas of the arts, giving pieces a more deeper meaning and giving its creators a reason to push the boundaries for what was possible to out shine dictatorship.

There is no bigger example of the Tropicalia movement then Os Mutantes' debut in 1968, their self titled album is little known outside of Brazil, but I only had the album a couple of hours before I became absolutely smitten by it. It has left me thinking that if this was an English speaking album, this would probably be heralded as a masterpiece by all and sundry.

For starters it is unbelievable how flexible and open-minded Os Mutantes actually were with this debut, the level of experimentation with their songs featured on this album is far superior to anything coming out of England or America at the time, an experimentation that has made the songs something quite remarkable, and this really cannot be said enough.

There are of course your typical carnival side to the sound, which you would expect from a band from Brazil. But not just that, they've decided that fuzz from a guitar is good, and fuzz in any guise is indeed good I think we can all agree.

They've also managed to get the orchestra in on most of their songs, with beautiful string and brass accompaniment throughout, but this is a Tropicalia album, you don't think it just stops there do you?

We really are not just talking about a Sgt Pepper Samba album here. The harmonisation of the vocals, the poetic quality of the songs (which are in Portuguese obviously but which transend the language barrier) and of course the fact that you have no idea where the album can take you next, brilliant.

Like with most albums which successfully fly close to the wind and by rights are one offs, some listeners may find a couple of the more far out pretty songs a little hard to get your head round. But seriously, this album is compelling and is jaw droppingly good at times which makes the album actually an addictive listen. This isn't just a first rate Pychedelic album or an advert for World Music....whatever that means; this is a masterpiece pure and simple.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful experience, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
This CD more than met my satisfaction

It came in good timing

Track 5 was particularly exquisite and if i end up marrying a brasilian or someone who speaks portuguese well, then i will probably use this track as my first dance

The rest of the CD was also very fun to listen to, you can tell they're shroomed up!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dare you try something different?, 3 Nov 2012
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This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
As I type this review i'm listening to this fascinating album on my ipod, the reason for this is because every time the last track rings out I can remember everything and nothing about it simultaneously. Is this a bad thing? Not a chance. A big reason for this strange phenomenom is the entire albums lyrics are sung in Brazilian Portugeuse and I couldn't care less, it's that good. The foreign tongue actually helps give the album some mystique, what could they be saying?

Right so the album explodes with some national anthem-esque sounds before segueing into "Panis Et Circensis". Now i've listened to a healthy dose of Psychadelic music in my time, but when halfway through the song changed completely I thought a different song altogether was playing. They revisit this dymnamic on "O Relogio" and they both work an absolute treat. Sandwiched in between these is the wonderfully poppy "A Minha Menina" which more of you might know then you may think.

The overall theme of the album seems to be mild chaos, but whereas other artists have utilized this approach and been less successful (see my Captain Beefheart "Trout Mask Replica" review) this crew seem to nail it. The album is actually ENJOYABLE to listen to. "Adeus Maria Fulo" proves this point, again wonderfully executed. Next up we have "Baby", a song which wouldn't feel out of place in The Ronettes canon. It actually provides the albums sole English section, in the beautiful chorus.

Things get kooky next with "Senhor F" which good as it is, only ends up serving as an appetizer for the Samba flavoured "Bat Macumba". It's great but the horribly scratchy guitar REALLY irritates, at least on headfones. That's one thing I wanted to point out, the production. For some this may be the white whale. This album was released in 1968 at the tail-end of the psychadelic explosion, and boy it sounds it. It helps some songs and hinders others, it does annoy hugely in "Bat Macumba". As for some of the others, only very slightly.

The bands very own version of "Nico" (model and female vocalist of The Velvet Underground) pops up for her moment of spotlight in the slow, sensuous "La Premier Bonheur Du Jour" and doesn't dissapoint. There certainly aren't many rockers on the album but "Trem Fantasma" at least tries to offer one, and without the tempo changing mid-section it would've succeeded. Nevermind though as it's a good song in it's own right

Time to wrap this up as only two tracks remain, I should've really wrote "rap" cause that's exactly what I get from the joyously short "Tempo No Tempo". Obviously I've no clue what they're saying, and I love it regardless. The final track "Ave Genghis Khan" (hmmm, who could they be referring to?) just drips with 60's cool, all slick guitar and fat Wurlitzer organ.

This review was written to somehow TRY and explain what it's about as there's so much going on in every song it'd be damn near impossible to break it down in time for Christmas. The final notes of the last track have just vanished into the distance, now how did that first song go again? ; )
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5*****, 7 Aug 2010
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This review is from: "Os Mutantes" (Audio CD)
Historical and beatiful. Best for portuguese speakers, as lyrics are very clever, but also 5 stars musics.
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