Sometimes good things do come from very unexpected places. Take, for example, the TV show Fama from Globo TV in Brazil. The show is similar to American Idol in which contestants struggle for a chance to make it big with a brand new solo career. Roberta Sá (Natal, Rio Grande do Norte) was one of such contestants, and even though she was not the winner in that 2002 show, she has started off on the right foot with this well produced album.
Outside the show, Roberta Sá first got the attention of critics when she recorded Dorival Caymmi’s “A Vizinha do Lado” for a Globo TV novela soundtrack. That led her to meet with producer and guitarist Rodrigo Campello. He is responsible for the production of her debut album, a good release with a balanced repertoire of classic and contemporary Brazilian music, including sambas, côco and a waltz.
Sá’s voice is captivating. She possesses that fine quality of interpreting a song without needing to add any tricks to it. In the opening track “Eu Sambo Mesmo,” for example, Sá sings softly and delivers Janet de Almeida’s samba with enthralling gusto. Overall, the arrangements in the album are not overdone and don’t overpower Sá’s voice, another great plus of this release. The various special guests present in this production add a different dimension to this work. Pedro Luís e a Parede are featured in two lively numbers. In “No Braseiro” the samba beat is enhanced with great percussion, whereas in “Ah, Se Eu Vou” the côco-influenced arrangement is more contained. Another guest, Ney Matogrosso comes in “Lavoura” creating a very effective duet. Their voices do blend nicely. The other guest featured here is the male vocal quartet MPB-4. Together they perform “Cicatrizes,” but their presence in the track is very subtle, pretty much being heard as background vocalists. The bouncy Caymmi samba “A Vizinha do Lado” could not be left out in this debut album. In a nice change of pace, the Paulinho da Viola and Hermínio Bello de Carvalho waltz “Valsa da Solidão” receives a beautiful treatment with Hugo Pilger’s crying cello, Marcos Nimrichter’s music box-like fender rhodes and Rodrigo Campello’s lovely acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Braseiro is a great debut for a promising star. Roberta Sá’s repertoire, voice and renditions are of solid quality. She is ready for great things if she keeps her career on this track.
MP,B 325912006592 (2004)
- Eu Sambo Mesmo (Janet de Almeida)
- Pelas Tabelas (Chico Buarque)
- No Braseiro (Pedro Luís) w/ Pedro Luís e a Parede
- Casa Pré-Fabricada (Marcelo Camelo)
- Lavoura (Teresa Cristina – Pedro Amorim) w/ Ney Matogrosso
- Ah, Se Eu Vou (Lula Queiroga) w/ Pedro Luís e a Parede
- A Vizinha do Lado (Dorival Caymmi)
- Valsa da Solidão (Paulinho da Viola – Hermínio Bello de Carvalho)
- Cicatrizes (Miltinho – Paulo César Pinheiro) w/ MPB-4
- Olho de Boi (Rodrigo Maranhão)