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Bebel Gilberto - Momento

Bebel Gilberto, Momento

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

BEBEL Gilberto, the undisputed queen of new Brazilian music, returns with her third album Momento in suitably beautiful fashion.

Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, London and New York, the album is a shimmering piece of laidback songwriting that sits comfortably between the electronic simplicity of her debut Tanto Tempo and the acoustic sophistication of her eponymous sophomore effort.

From opening track Momento, it’s an extremely relaxing listen, beautifully steered by Gilberto’s soothing vocal style and keen ear for a melody. But it’s also capable of delivering good on the odd risky moment.

A cover version of Cole Porter’s Night And Day might have been easy to get wrong; but is made all the more intimate by Gilberto’s breathy delivery. While the presence of Guy Sigsworth (of Bjork, Madonna and Frou Frou/Imogen Heap fame) ensures the album also retains a distinctly mainstream appeal that’s capable of broadening her appeal.

Highlights, of which there are many, include Bring Back The Love, which blends bossa and electronica to seemless effect, Close To You, which drops a nice Oriental flavour late on and sounds like a Tracey Thorn offering, and Cacada, a song penned by her uncle Chico Buarque, which offers a more upbeat vibe and includes some wonderful flute.

Another favourite Tranquilo was recorded with Orquestra Imperial (the big band founded around three young men who count arguably among Brazil’s most inventive musicians/producers: Kassin, Moreno Veloso and Domenico) and genuinely succeeds in recapturing the magic of Rio at the height of a warm summer’s evening.

Um Segundo also seduces with its lush vocal layering and playful quality, while Words closes things out in suitably beautiful fashion by setting Gilberto’s breathy delivery against a lonesome acoustic guitar. It’s a lovely finish to a quietly intoxicating listen that marks another major triumph for Gilberto.

Download picks: Bring Back The Love, Tranquilo, Um Segundo, Cacada, Night And Day, Words

Track listing:

  1. Momento
  2. Bring Back The Love – feat. The Brazilian Girls
  3. Close To You
  4. Os Novos Yorkinos
  5. Azul
  6. Cacada
  7. Night And Day
  8. Tranquilo – feat. Orquesta Imperial
  9. Um Segundo
  10. Cade Voce?
  11. Words

  1. Nice review, but the mentioned “highlights” are some of the weakest tracks!

    Carlos Swancide    Apr 17    #