Review by: Nina Anatchkova
Album assigned by: Francelino Prazeres de Azevedo Filho
This is what I will tell you: It is significantly harder for me to talk about this album than to appreciate its qualities and importance. And this is because being unfamiliar with the context for it, as the cliché goes, does not prevent you from relating to it since it speaks directly to the heart. Or something.
But here is a list of things you can look forward to when playing this record:
– Acoustic guitar (duh)
– Beautiful Portugese (also duh)
– Beautiful arrangements
– A certain sense of bardicness
– Something that can vaguely be described as bossa nova (by the uninitiated)
– Evocative singing
– 70’s sound (especially the intro to Pivete – It is so 70s that I expect a pair of ladies in 70s garb and hairstyles to jump out of a 70s merry-go-round and bump into some 70s typography)
Now The Guardian tells me about Chico Buarque that “His lyrics are studied as part of the Portuguese BA curriculum. His songs are hummed across the country. Women fawn over his startling blue eyes and chiselled good looks.” The third statement I have no problem in believing, and upon examining some of the lyrics on this album, especially the second track here – “Cálice” – and its use of symbolism to veiledly talk about political events in Brazil (you can look the details up on Wikipedia), I get the sense of importance that would place these lyrics on a university curriculum.
Other subjects are covered on this record, too, loving and leaving among them.
And the songs, yes, of course, I’d hum them too, if I knew any Portugese. Or better still, sing them with the nuance and expressiveness that Chico Buarque and the ladies that feature on couple of the tracks here do.
But anyway, enough of my ignorant noodling, go and hear Chico Buarque and Co sing and play about the many experiences of life and hopefully your heart will be touched too.