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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It extends her boundaries: different and innovative., 9 April 2012
This review is from: Caravana Sereia Bloom (Audio CD)
"Cavana Sereia Bloom", the third album in seven years from Brazilian singer and songwriter Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças (aka Céu), sounds dramatically different than the breezy, electronically washed 21st century bossa and samba of her previous offerings.
Both earlier efforts were influenced by the electronic music of Thievery Corporation, Kruder & Dorfmeister, and even Röyksopp, as well as the classic era of jazzy bossa and samba.
Working with producer Gui Amabis, "Caravana Sereia Bloom" is a much more expansive and ambitious recording.
Born from ideas incurred during an extended road trip through her native country, from São Paulo to the nation's northeastern region, and the inspiration of the road movie "Bye Bye Brazil", it reflects -- musically -- much of what she heard in her travels, and has more in common with the ambitious, experimental spirit of the tropicalia era without being self-conscious.
While "Caravana Sereia Bloom" is easily the most stripped-down record she's cut, it is also her most contemporary.
Céu and Amabis employ programming and electronic sounds throughout; the emphasis here is on guitars, basses, drums, keyboards from synths to Wurlitzer, reeds, winds, and brass.
No two tracks seem to come from the same root universe, but all reflect the fleeting sensations of life on the road.
The funky carnivalesque jazz samba in opener "Falta de Ar" contrasts mightily with the neo-psychedelic surf guitar chicha of "Amor de Antigos".
The ska-inflected cumbia of "Asfalto e Sal", with its bass drums, flutes, and hypnotic bassline, is an album highlight.
"Contravento" is a rhythm collision of samba, lambada, and cumbia. It's among the most driving tracks here and colored beautifully by a multi-tracked tenor sax, B-3, percussion loops, drums, a taut bassline, and pulsing guitars.
"You Won't Regret It", one of three English-language tracks here, is a cover of a vintage rocksteady tune featuring gorgeously layered vocals, trumpet, flügelhorn, sampled tuba, and grand rhythmic interplay.
"Baile de Ilusão" melds 21st century brega and cumbia in a heady, sensual mix with a lovely melodic frame.
"Fffree" is an abstract, completely solo tune, on which Céu plays organ, guitar, and bass and sings a brief, airy poem about the liberating quality of rootlessness. The 13 tracks on "Caravana Sereia Bloom" reveal an artist who is pushing the envelope of MPB, and is taking no prisoners in the process. T.Jurek
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 10 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Caravana Sereia Bloom (Audio CD)
Well I dont speak Portuguese or Brazilian, but who cares? 3 of the songs do have English lyrics, which fit together with the music in a way that makes it seem to be a new language. I just cannot believe how good this album is....I have been having to resist the urge to play it twice a day! I would say that if you dont find yourself tapping a rhythm along to this at some point you are probably made of stone. Its a pop record, a very, very good pop record, with bespoke instrument licks crafted with the same care as Belle & Sebastian consider their productions. Its a blues album, a le Peter fact track 5: "Teju Na Estrada" would probably make him jealous! There is reggae...I expect "You Wont Regret It" to become a monster global hit if any record company execs or djs actually pull their fingers out. It is of course Latin, but unlike anything I have ever heard before. The styles switch from synchopated to contra rhythms, from South American soulfull to a giant dreamy lucid green soundscape in the last track "Chegar Em Mim" which literally leaves you floating on air. If you dont buy another album this year, buy this one. Make sure you have her back catalogue in stock Amazon, I will be ordering it as soon as I can! I hope this fantastically talented (and thoughtful) young lady becomes the global superstar she deserves to be (unless she has done already and Im the only one who didnt know). Its nice to know I can still be surprised by real talent...thank you Jools Holland for bringing her and her band to my attention. Truly great!
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Caravana Sereia Bloom
Caravana Sereia Bloom by CéU (Audio CD - 2012)
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