Brazilian music seems to have a very strong feminine presence, especially when it comes to performers. Ask any Brazilian about their favorite singers and song writers, and the answers will likely include more feminine than masculine voices. Elis Regina, Dalva de Oliveira, Maria Bethânia, Gal Costa, Vânia Bastos, Elba Ramalho, Zizi Possi, Rosa Passos, Simone, Joyce and Sueli Costa are just the top names of a long list. Combining both the talent of a superb singer with fantastic song writing abilities, Fátima Guedes surfaces as arguably the best feminine song writer in Brazilian Popular Music (MPB, Música Popular Brasileira) nowadays. That position she has maintained since she first became a household name in Brazil in the late 70’s at the young age of eighteen years old. Her music has been recorded by an array of who’s who in Brazilian music: Elis Regina, Nana Caymmi, Simone and many more. Her own albums are highly anticipated and critically acclaimed.
After a four-year long absence from the studio, Fátima Guedes’s intense and immense world came back with Muito Intensa. The album carries the same quality as her previous works. Profound lyrics and touching themes abound. Muito Intensa adds new gems to the Fátima Guedes vast songbook of classics. To enhance the caliber of her own compositions, if that can be imagined, Guedes has new songs with other well-known names: Joyce, Djavan, Ivan Lins, Adriana Calcanhotto and Nei Lopes.
In Vânia Bastos’s Belas e Feras CD, the song “Namorado,” penned by Guedes, was one of the best tracks. “Namorado” could not possibly be absent from Muito Intensa. To hear the composer performing her own song is a special treat. Guedes can write beautiful music, and she can also interpret a song like very few performers do. If you have ever listened to any of her albums, you cannot help but wonder how she can so consistently release albums with such quality. The answer is, perhaps, she has the gift for song writing.
What a polished album Paulinho Albuquerque has produced. Besides the A-team of musicians and arrangers, such as Ricardo Silveira, Gilson Peranzzetta, Cristóvão Bastos, Zé Nogueira, Beto Cazes, Bororó and Jaques Morelenbaum, there are special appearances by Zé Renato and Djavan. The cover art work and liner photos make reference to the title track lyrics. Fátima Guedes appears shaving her legs, putting on perfume and looking very sensual. The words in “Muito Intensa” deal with a woman’s decision to shave her legs, put on perfume and lipstick for the man she loves. Yes, it might not be very politically correct on the surface, but the song is, in fact, about a strong woman. She is not easy, she states. Guedes can turn the most mundane subjects in pure poetry. Even if she were telling you a story of slashing her wrists for the love of her life, it would still be in a beautiful song. She could not ever write anything less than beautiful harmonies and poignant words.
Fátima Guedes is a multi-talented artist. Muito Intensa is yet another gem added to her beautiful career.
Velas 32591 1000552 (1999)
All tracks by Fátima Guedes, except where noted.
- Muito Intensa
- Grata (Joyce – Fátima Guedes)
- É Sério (Djavan – Fátima Guedes) – w/ Djavan
- Corpo Mestiço (Fátima Guedes – Nei Lopes)
- Dois Amores (Djavan – Fátima Guedes)
- Ultramar (Fátima Guedes – Adriana Calcanhotto)
- Muito Obrigada
- Perfeito (Ivan Lins – Fátima Guedes) – w/ Zé Renato
- Sete Véus
A modified version of this review first appeared in Luna Kafé, March 2000.