I asked to review this CD because it's so off the beaten Western path—but mildly and deceptively so!—and so damn cool. When sent the preview tracks, I was struck not just by Paolo Padilha's combination of West Coast Cool, Braziliana, samba, a bit of calypso, sprechestimme, and folk but also by the instrumentation tossing in a wealth of what I call 'incidentalisms', in this case the kind of sonic ornaments Hermeto Pascoal and Airto Moreira loved, incorporating them in the same way a rain forest emits its enchanting noises. Then there was the echo of Edu Lobo popping up here and there, not to mention that the entire thing is so conversational, as though Padilha's extolling a number of fascinating stories just for you and him…and maybe anyone else of similar spirit who cares to listen in.
It matters not a whit that you won't understand a word of the lyrics unless you speak the tongue because the music and singing are so damn fetching, but let me fill you in a bit anyway. Padilha has more than a little of the gentle cynic in him, and Lojinha de Um Real is a poetic riff on the new primacy of the consumer "I buy, therefore I am" culture. Eu Sou Ela Amanhã is a grinning glance at how his wife is starting to resemble her mother, an observation neither was terribly appreciative of until they listened very closely to what he was really saying and meaning, the sly dog (and a good poet is never fully understood on the first go-round). Now his mother-in-laws demands he sing it any time she attends one of her son-in-law's concerts, and his wife glows at the ditty.
I love the singer / backing chorus call-and-response exchanges in Pré Pago Pai de Santo as well as Mart'nalia's slightly tart duet role offsetting Padilha's carefree encantations. It's one of the spunkier numbers on the card and a summer's afternoon dance recital, mojito in one hand, shrimp cocktail in the other. My favorite cut, though, is Tapa, and I'm not even sure why. It just has a more compelling nature to it that stands out against its mellower brethren. The mildly psychedelic guitar and rapid-fire tongue-twisting lyrics in Si Mi Ré Lá, sung in multiple parts by various participants, make that cut my second fave, but these two songs, atypical of the rest of the disc, stand out only in small degrees because everything here is so unique…not in a way that demands attention but instead persuades, cajoles, and seduces.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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