There are many compilations of Brazilian pop (MPB) for beginners in US record stores, ranging from downright awful to OK. This one has all the biggest names (Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Milton Nascimento)and better-than-average selections from each. It's important to know what you're getting: quality popular music from the 70s and 80s by the Brazilian equivalents of Barbara Streisand and James Taylor, not the latest Afro-Brazilian Axe dance bands or traditional folk music. A good intro to the Brazilian singers who have stood the test of time and are cultural icons across generations. If I had to choose between this album and the similar "Beleza Tropical" compiled by Gabriel Byrne, I'd choose this one.
This is an excellent collection of Brazilian music with samples coming from some of the best CDs. I usually like only one or two songs from a CD but this is one of those where I like most everything. The music is different from song to song, very interesting and far more advanced than anything that Mick Jagger could possibly comprehend. They also give you the associated albums with each cut so for the uninitiated, you have the confidence of buying more CDs that have proven themselves with the public. One caution about his music. Brazil is a melting pot of Portuguese, African and native Indian. So the attitude is " anything goes." So you get constant suprises in the mixing of time signatures and seemingly incompatbile rhythms. At first, it might sound like Strawbery Fields Forever ( unstable, inconsistent rhythm ) but if you give it a chance, you realize that it takes you beyond the mundane and into the realm of high quality territory that is unprecedented here or...
For folks that are not familiar with Brazilian music and therefore looking for the stereotypical "Girl From Ipanema" bossa nova style of music, be aware that this is an album of MPB artists & songs (mostly from the 70's and early 80's). The reason why I only gave this album 3 stars is because I thought it didn't pick the best songs from each of the artists featured. The actual artists are all first class (Gal Costa, Milton Nascimento, Djavan, Joyce, Gilberto Gil....just to name a few!), but this album didn't feature any of their greatest works. But on the other hand this album gives listeners who are unfamiliar with MPB a good introduction, which will hopefully lead to further interest in the wonderful world of classic MPB. For the best MPB album (in my opinion) check out the "Tropuque Samba Lounge" collections ("Beleza Pura" and "Emorio"). By the way I just can't help but put my two cents in. I couldn't agree more with "A Music Fan...
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