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  • Céu
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4.2 out of 5 stars12
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 May 2008
Could this be the most interesting singer to come out of Brazil since Bebel Gilberto? For some reason, this album, which has been bubbling around the transatlantic charts for a couple of years, has taken a long time to reach these shores. It's certainly worth the wait. The eccentrically named Ceu - real name Maria do Ceu Whitaker Pocas - possesses a strikingly pure voice, and her tastes are unfailingly ecclectic. Oddly enough, one of the most potent numbers is her sinuous cover of Bob Marley's Concrete Jungle. Electro influences are discreetly scattered around; there's even a hint of fado on Valsa Pra Biu Roque. Add some elegant jazz lite and soul textuers, and you have all the makings of a summer hit. Classy, very classy. [Clive Davis, Sunday Times]
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on 2 April 2008
I discovered Brazilian singer Céu by accident three weeks ago at 2 a.m. on TV in Brazil, which was showing the recording of a concert she gave at the SESC Pompéia in São Paulo in 2007 for the programme Bem Brasil. I was in the kitchen and heard some good sounds coming from the TV in the lounge, came through to see who it was and was hooked by the music (and Céu's pretty face). The day I got back to the UK I searched for a CD and ordered it, and have been playing it frequently since. There is not a bum song on the album, and it just makes me want to mix a caipirinha and lie in a hammock.

This CD was actually recorded between 2002 and 2004 and apparently Céu has been touting these songs for some time. The songs have a laid-back, sometimes jazz-funk feel, with that well-known Brazilian swing to it all (this isn't Bossa Nova, though) that relaxes and yet has you nodding along. It's also slightly avant-garde for Brazilian 'smooth' music -- or maybe I should just say it's modernistic -- as the band mixes the odd turntable scratching, electronic, percussive and other noises into the background. I was impressed with Céu's backing group for the SESC Pompéia concert, and that also applies when I listen to the CD. The bassist delivers a funky, thumping beat on several tracks, and the percussionist, guitarists, brass and woodwind players, keyboard players and DJ all deliver in spades. And then there's Céu's voice, which is silky-smooth yet punchy, and sexy too. On Mais Um Lamento she even reminds me a little of Elis Regina. I can see why Starbucks decided to release her on their in-store CD label too: it's a classy collection of songs. Take Afro music (Afro-Brazilian percussion, as well as the style of music), electro-pop, Brazilian folk, jazz-funk, samba and MPB, and you get this CD. I mentioned my hammock above, well these songs would be equally at home in a smoky jazz bar, and they'd sound just as good there too. Valsa Pra Biu Roque is just Céu over bandolin and Brazilian guitar, and sounds very 'caipira', and is a pleasant lull in the beat.

I ordered the CD via this Amazon page and the CD I received is a Victor Entertainment (Japanese) edition with a 16th track (Nação Postal) and a 'bonus' track (Malemolência remix), neither of which is currently shown in the track list on this page, plus a video of the track Roda if you pop the CD in your PC. The remix of Malemolência is nothing special, and neither is the video, but Nação Postal is certainly a welcome addition. But whether you get the edition with 15 or 16 tracks, you get your money's worth: there's a lot of good music on this CD. Highly recommended.
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on 25 August 2009
This has a wonderfully chilled out vibe, blending some light latin rhythms with a jazzy feel. It's a perfect summer afternoon album to listen as you're sitting enjoying the sun.
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on 31 March 2008
I listen to a lot of music while I work and this CD has dominated my stereo for three months. Ceu's voice is hauntingly beautiful and the soothing melodies make stress slip away. I can't give clever analysis about how it fits into the Samba music scene, but for UK listeners it's something like listening to Dido crossed with Portishead while lying in the sun drinking a rum cocktail. If you only have one foreign language album in your collection I strongly recommend that you have this one!
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on 3 August 2009
A great album with a little bit of everything within it, a great mix its whatever you want it to be, chill out and just let it wash over you or let the beat take you to another worldCéU
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on 23 March 2010
I keep coming back to this album and each time it surprises me how good EVERY track is! Even the Bob Marley Concrete Jungle track is a triumph.

Modern Brazilian music at its best, with pace, beat and a little musical quirkiness.

She is a far more accomplished singer than Bebel Gilberto.

I have not listened to her other albums yet but I will remedy that soon.

Listening to the album as I write this review it is very easy to give it 5 stars. I just wish I knew how to pronounce her name!(evidently it is pronounced'sew')

One of my top albums.
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on 31 July 2010
Great music - does exactly what it says on the box. Read the sleeve notes, it says just what I want to say.
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on 11 September 2008
I just felt completely compelled to write my first ever review for this special album. I bought this on a recommendation from Amazon, thank you Amazon. To say that this album is good is an understatement, it's exceptional! Ceu's voice conveys a superb depth of emotion; her soothing sultry tones tug you right into the soul of the music. This emotionality is also coupled with a fine vocal texture that you can reach out and touch, I find this aspect of her voice completely addictive.

This is an album that you simply must listen to if you have an interest in world music. The musical accompaniment is also excellent with its restraint. You can look to other reviews for comparisons with other musicians and comments on her musical influences, the net effect is an album of beauty that is so much better than any perception of what the sum of the comparison and influences might sound like. Here's an artist I can't wait to hear more from. Don't hesitate to buy this. Enjoy!
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on 14 May 2015
I Love It
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on 2 June 2010
There's some good stuff here, but not quite up to Bebel Gilberto level. That said, she shows big promise and I recommend the album
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