Playing It Safe
This year one of the most successful pop bands in Brazil celebrates 20 years of existence. That is indeed something to mention. Thus, it was a good opportunity to combine the jubilee with the invitation by MTV to be the next band for the famous Acústico series. Kid always likes to mix instruments with electronics, so one might wonder what happens when the band plays acoustic. The CD Meio Desligado (1994) is semi-acoustic, but certainly their best effort so far.
The trio decided to play it safe. The arrangements are close to the original. George Israel only plays the saxophone during a few occasions, and he’s mostly on the acoustic guitar or bandolim. Bruno Fortunato shines on acoustic guitar and bandolim, too. And in the wonderful center of it all is the voice of lyricist Paula Toller. If you compare her voice now with how she sounded twenty years ago, you can only say she matured in the most beautiful way. She sounds wonderful on each and every song. As does the whole band; the guitarists form a perfect background, while the bass (Rodrigo Santos) and drums (Kadu Menezes) complete the line up in that same perfect way. Humberto Barros changes from piano to accordion to organ (which seems to be counted among the acoustic instruments). And then there is Ramiro Musotto who proves the band doesn’t need electronic percussion to sound good. On the contrary; it’s a delight to hear real percussion instruments.
A few highlights on the album are the wonderful renditions of the band’s classics like “Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda.” Lenine is a guest vocalist on this song, and you can hear he likes singing in a duet with Paula Toller. He sounds more polished than we’re used to. Another big hit is “Grand’ Hotel.” This composition in treated with a lot of respect. Beautiful intro, mellow and soft, gentle saxophone solo: Kid Abelha sounding at its best. “Eu Tive Um Sonho” sounds fresher than the original recording. Paula is accompanied only by piano on Leoni’s “Os Outros,” a beautiful feature. Second guest is Edgard Scandurra (Ira!), and a welcome one. His voice sounds great together with Paula Toller. The absolute highlight on this CD is the guitar accompaniment in “Mudança de Comportamento,” written by guest Edgard Scandurra. He sings a great second voice. “Brasil” is made famous by Cazuza and played here as a tribute to the late rocker, with lead vocals by George Israel and an accurate horn section. “Amanhã é 23” is another beautiful ballad on which the vocalist shows she’s more than a pop singer.
This is just a wonderful album by a successful pop band, and the songs are performed without any adventurous intentions. Maybe that’s how the fans like it. They’re remarkably attentive, you hardly hear them… But there’s the lack of that little “extra” that could have made this an exceptional album instead of a pretty good one! As a bonus, Paula sings a secret message to us a few minutes after the music stopped.
Mercury Universal 04400665372 (2002)
- Nada Sei (Apnéia) (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Eu Contra a Noite (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- No Seu Lugar (George Israel – Lui Farias – Paula Toller)
- Quero Te Encontrar (MC Buchecha)
- Lágrimas e Chuva (Bruno Fortunato – George Israel – Leoni)
- Maio (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda (Casinha de Sapê) (Hyldon)
- Eu Só Penso Em Você (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Grand’ Hotel (George Israel – Lui Farias – Paula Toller)
- Gilmarley Song (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Brasil (George Israel – Nilo Romero – Cazuza)
- Os Outros (Leoni)
- Amanhã é 23 (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Como Eu Quero (Leoni – Paula Toller)
- Mudança de Comportamento (Edgard Scandurra)
- Eu Tive Um Sonho (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Meu Vício Agora (George Israel – Paula Toller)
- Fixação (Beni – Leoni – Paula Toller)
- Te Amo Pra Sempre (George Israel – Paula Toller)