Mar 08 2009

Os Paralamas do Sucesso: Brasil Afora

Still Paralamas


Brasil Afora

It’s always a pleasure to notice the release of a new CD from Os Paralamas do Sucesso. The band has been around for some three decades and still manages to come out with fresh sounding pop/rock albums. After a somewhat overcrowded joint venture with Titãs, Paralamas pleases with an album that fully represents the sound its fans fell in love with.

The overall sentiment of the album is old fashioned Paralamas fun. The album opens with a song that sets the tone for (only) half an hour of joy. The very danceable “Meu Sonho” is spiced up by a short trademark guitar solo by Herbert Vianna. It’s pure Paralamas, mixing various styles like samba, soul, reggae and rock. A strong reggae flirt dominates “Sem Mais Adeus,” where Carlinhos Brown is guest on guitar, percussion and vocals

A surprise appearance is made by veteran singer Zé Ramalho. The icon from Brazil’s northeast returns the favour of drummer João Barone’s upgrading appearance on Zé’s wonderful album Parceria dos Viajantes. Paralamas do Sucesso“Mormaço” breathes the air of Zé Ramalho’s disarming, yet firm musical approach. The song is Herbert Vianna’s tribute to his hometown João Pessoa. “A Lhe Esperar” has cleverly been released as a single. Written by Arnaldo Antunes and Liminha (the album’s producer and also guest on the slide guitar on this track), the song can be classified as a samba reggae, another style where Paralamas seemed to have applied for patent for long ago. The style dominated many of the band’s concerts in the 80’s and 90’s. “El Amor” (by Argentinean Fito Paez) is one of those lovely ballads we so much like to hear sung by Herbert Vianna. “Taubaté ou Santos” is an even more beautiful ballad, for me the highlight of the album. It houses every nostalgic remembrance of the band’s earlier days. It stands in contrast with the title song of the album “Brasil Afora” that’s nothing short of aggressive rock, performed in the good old trio format of the band. The same can be said by the closing “Tão Bela.” Every other track has an extended instrumentation with some of the band’s loyal friends like João Fera on keyboards, Bidu Cordeiro on trombone and Monteiro Jr. on the saxophone.

While listening to the album I often had to think about their album Bora-Bora, back from 1988 which also left me with a nostalgic happy feeling. It seems like the band revisits its own history and wants to refer us to some of their finest moments on their road to conquer Brazil. A wonderful attempt! Too bad there’s only half an hour of music on their twelfth studio album; a no-no in these ages of cds and struggling music business… Come on Paralamas, we want more!



Os Paralamas do Sucesso
Brasil Afora 
EMI 694434 2 (2008)
Time: 33’44”


  1. Meu Sonho (Herbert Vianna)
  2. Sem Mais Adeus (Carlinhos Brown – Alain Tavares)
  3. A Lhe Esperar (Arnaldo Antunes – Liminha)
  4. El Amor (El Amor Después Del Amor) (Fito Paez – Translation: Herbert Vianna)
  5. Quanto ao Tempo (Carlinhos Brown – Michael Sullivan)
  6. Aposte em Mim (Herbert Vianna – Bi Ribeiro – João Barone)
  7. Mormaço (Herbert Vianna – Bi Ribeiro – João Barone)
  8. Taubaté ou Santos (Herbert Vianna – Bi Ribeiro – João Barone)
  9. Brasil Afora (Herbert Vianna – Bi Ribeiro – João Barone)
  10. Tempero Zen (Herbert Vianna)
  11. Tão Bela (Herbert Vianna – Bi Ribeiro – João Barone)