ZEZÉ DI CAMARGO & LUCIANO – Zezé Di Camargo & Luciano (2012)

Review by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Album assigned by: Francelino Prazeres de Azevedo Filho

As this was a rush job, due to a medical emergency, I did not do any research online about this band or duo, but just listened to the album on Spotify, making up my mind, and forming a judgment about the music, as I went along, concluding pretty much instantly that this would not be a new cherished discovery of an amazing album by an artist that I would like to know more about, even if they’re singing in Portuguese, the sweetest, most beautiful sounding language in the world, so three sentences would do.

At first hearing (and be aware, that is as far as I got) this half live, half studio album sounds like typical 80’s (power) pop: weird production (up front vocals, tinny sound, loud drums (in the worst Phil Collins style, just listen to Nao Tem Graça), synthesised or synthetically sounding strings) with some comforting semi-acoustic sounds, slightly epic melodies (sometimes not all that bad, really), which is OK by me, until I realised this album was produced in 2012!!!

Some of the songs, especially the live ones, such as Sonho de Amor and Eu To Na Pista Eu To Solteiro, sound energetic and happy and could be summer hits, but then there is a power ballad like Eu Quero É Mais, that would even fail at a Eurovison Song contest. Em Algum Lugar Do Passado, if ever so slightly slowed down, could have been covered by Sting solo and be quite acceptable, but Meu Nenén, Meu Bebe, Minha Vida is one of the worst songs I’ve heard all year.

ZEZÉ DI CAMARGO & LUCIANO – Zezé Di Camargo & Luciano (1991)

Review by: Mark Maria Ahsmann
Album assigned by: Francelino Prazeres de Azevedo Filho

Oh, I’ve heard beautiful things: the first four notes of Zezé & co’s version of “And I Love Her”, “Eu te amo” performed by deep and low strings bring the hidden melancholia of this song to the surface so that instead of a contemplative and happy love song it turns into a contemplative wistful and sad love song. I could easily imagine a band like the Tindersticks using that as a template for an autumnal version.

These four notes are the only things that are truly outstanding on this album. The rest of it is a dime a dozen sun, sea and beach & bikinis pop music.

This kind of music is sort of timeless and sort of locationless. They’ve been producing it all over the world since at least the late 1960’s.

I find it not too repulsive though obviously it is not “good”. It is not meant to be.

In my country there’s a TV program called Music Party On The Square. Dutch versions of Zezé & Luciano lip sync their latest hits before a mildly enthusiastic crowd. Spectators always start to dance spontaneously when they notice that one of the TV camera’s picks them up. I’ve always wondered what it would be like at such a party.

This album is very suitable for cafeteria’s and half price pizzeria’s.

My colleague says Zezé and Luciano are actually Ron and Russell Mael in disguise. And she would like to add that Russell’s mullet was fabulous in 1991.