Taking the Solo Spot
There won’t be too many Brazilian singers who never experienced the comfort of having Cecilia Spyer in their backing vocals. It’s amazing if you take a look at the list of stars this singer from Rio has worked with. And understandable too, since Cecilia Spyer always adds something extra because of her talent to sense what vocals sounds best for a particular composition.
Cecilia Spyer dedicated the last few decades to this art of vocals. Of course Cecilia had a career as singer. She joined the jazz focused instrumental band Garage to add her vocals to the melody lines. She’s also very popular with other singers for her vocal-technical assistance during recording sessions. And Cecilia is a vocal teacher and works with GEV, Grupo de Estudos da Voz, a study group focused on various aspects of the art of the voice. And in these times of internet, Cecilia is also active in her own discussion list “Preparação Vocal” (vocal preparation). But for the large audience, Cecilia is best known for her numerous backing vocals participations on records and during concerts (with Zeca Baleiro, Guinga, Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Djavan, Marina Lima, Roberto Carlos, Katia B, Os Paralamas de Sucesso, Edu Lobo, Eduardo Dusek, Daniela Mercury, Jobim Sinfônico and that list goes on and on).
With such a state of record, it’s a small miracle that there was not a solo project yet. That has been corrected now, with the release of Repara, Cecilia Spyer’s first solo album. Finally! It’s difficult what to expect, since Cecilia’s work covers such a wide range of music. It turned out to be a very entertaining pop cd with a healthy variety of songs. Producer Christiaan Oyens, who also is one of the featured musicians on the cd, clearly leaves his mark on the album. Having worked with Zélia Duncan and Marina Lima, you can leave it to him to deliver a solid product. Most of the songs are (co-)written by Cecilia, which shows another side of the musician. For each song the most suitable musicians were chosen. With special guest appearances of bassist Dadi Carvalho (known for his work, among others, Marisa Monte), drummer Charles Gavin (Titãs), drummer João Barone (Os Paralamas de Sucesso) and guitarist Dado Villa-Lobos (ex Legião Urbana). It’s nice to hear Christiaan Oyens behind the drums again, keeping the rhythm tight on the lovely “Madrugada.” On the title track, “Repara,” Cecilia’s wonderful vocal ability comes to its full right. Surrounded by the modest use of electronics, the singer takes the opportunity to show how a good lead singer sounds. The song is hers (the composition too, by the way). It might be the best track on the album. It’s followed by the catchy reggae “Nem Paletó, Nem Gravata,” a composition by the Valle brothers, Marcos and Paulo Sérgio. It’s funny to hear Cecilia Spyer doing her own very recognizable backing vocals. That she is a promising composer of pop songs is showed again with the wonderful “Enquanto Estive Longe” and “Abrigo.” The two songs have the quality to pleasantly spin around in your head. On the beautiful ballad “Beijo de Piscina,” Cecilia takes the solo spot, accompanying herself on the acoustic guitar. Christiaan Oyens has a few very subtle additions on one of his showpiece guitars, the legendary Weissenborn. The cd comes to a sudden end with “A Mim e a Mais Ninguém,” an almost forgotten gem by Angela Rorô (from her self-titled album from 1979). Just when you feel like singing along, the song fades away. What’s left is a good solo debut from a master of the art of vocals. Driven not only by technique, but also a heart for the music she loves so much.
Humaitá Visom Records AA001000 (2006)
- Muito Além do Jardim (Dadi Carvalho – Cecilia Spyer)
- A Falta Que Você Faz (Cecilia Spyer – Alvin L – Christiaan Oyens)
- Madrugada (Cecilia Spyer – Christiaan Oyens)
- Penso Que Me Esqueço (Cecilia Spyer)
- Repara (Cecilia Spyer)
- Nem Paletó, Nem Gravata (Marcos Valle – Paulo César Valle)
- Minha Zona (Cecilia Spyer – Christiaan Oyens)
- Enquanto Estive Longe (Cecilia Spyer)
- Abrigo (Cecilia Spyer)
- Beijo de Piscina (Cecilia Spyer)
- A Mim e a Mais Ninguém (Ângela Rorô – Sérgio Bandeira)