Bebel Gilberto

Studio Album by released in 2004
Bebel Gilberto's tracklist:
Baby
Simplesmente
Aganju
All Around
River Song
Every Day You've Been Away
Cada Beijo
O Caminho
Winter
Ceu Distante
Jabuticaba
Next to You

Bebel Gilberto review

Bossa Nova became the sound wave of the cocktail drinking culturally hip in the sixties; with every masterful crooner from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald releasing obligatory tracks on their albums highlighting the smooth rolling sounds of Brazilian Jazz. Somewhere in 2003 the presence of the Neo-Bossa Nova sound made itself known again among the most chic and diverse minded latte drinkers and martini aficionados. Bebel Gilberto is the ultimate permutation of this new trend in next generation sound with her self-titled sophomore CD release. Produced by Marius de Vries, the soundmeister behind Madonna, Annie Lennox and Bjork, it was recorded in Rio, London and New York.

Bebel is the daughter of Bossa Nova legend Joao Gilberto, and a rightful member of Brazilian pop musical royalty. In every way, this album is a perfect re-imagination of this music for a new generation. The album's opener, Baby, is a newly definitive take of Caetano Veloso's classic bilingual invitation of exploration – a fitting welcome to an audience who may have forgotten how great this music really is. The samba driven rhythms of Aganju rush the listener with energy and the imagery of lush tropical scenery. The remainders of the album feature stirring tracks like Simplesmente and Every Day You've Been Away, conjuring images of white sand beaches. Gilberto's cool contralto sings sweetly over synths, strings, percussion acoustic piano and horns. Bebel's Gilberto hushed vocals reveal the influences of her father and of her mother Miucha on the electro-bossa beats of Winter. Ditto the ocean-breezed O Caminho with its jazzy orchestrations. Highlights include the lovely Aganju, the gently heartbroken Every Day You've Been Away, and the lilting, almost funky Cada Beiju. This is more of a recording for listening than dancing – a guide to an easy, steady romantic mindset that belongs in every jazz enthusiast's music library.

Bebel Gilberto's second album is her most English CD. A mix of Brazil-Pop and coffee-time English niceties, this album attempts to attract a wider listening audience rather than enticing her standard listeners. Bebel Gilberto has drawn on a rich Latin heritage to create a modern masterpiece. On this album, she reaches out to us on a very personal and intimate level with a collection of songs that are deliberately down beat, cool, classy and subtle. Their simple lyrics and rich Latin chords create a mood that is both romantic and hypnotic. It has a very organic feel with acoustic guitars, strings and woodwinds; there are elements of electronica in the mix, but they are pushed considerably far into the background. Furthermore, Gilberto's vocals are far more front-and-center on this album. The result is downright intoxicating. Every note is so perfectly placed, every rhythm so perfectly played and every vocal track so perfectly laid that it is impossible to find a flaw. Twelve tracks simply aren't enough for this listener. The album takes apart all of your defenses and leaves you open in the most wonderful way; it makes you smile while listening to it because it makes you feel that good.

Brazil has produced more than its fair share of musical giants. Genius composers such as Tom Jobim and Milton Nascimento, powerful performers like Jorge Ben, the furious wonder that is vocalist Elis Regina and countless others have stoked the fascination of those of us who find an almost perfect combination of intensity, complexity and immediacy in Brazil’s various indigenous forms. Bebel Gilberto is a part of that legacy, not only in terms of her parentage, but because she captures that intoxicating quality guilelessly, and delivers it to a chilly world.

(02.06.2005)
Rate review3.99
Total votes - 7


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