Archive for September, 2010

When you first hear “Escaldante Banda”, the new album by Brazilian band Garotas Suecas (translation: Swedish Girls, or so I am told), the first few seconds might have you thinking that you accidentally racked a mislabelled copy of the Kinks “Waterloo sunset”. However, at the end of that descending chord progression is an album of feel good funk seasoned with Brazilian spices that combines the best elements of its complimentary genre’s.

“Tudo Bem “ (translation: It’s all good), starts the album off with a bit of retro-funk that could have been a hit on ”Soul Train”. Native rhythms are predominant on the acoustic guitar driven “Ela”. I detect a tongue-in –cheek a la Kid Creole (“who? “Said the youngsters) on “Alma”. The album peeks at the mid-point with a frenzied free for all, “Mercado Roque Santeiro”, which is crammed with Latin percussion, hopped-up urban brass, and excited mixed-gender vocal trade-offs singing of a large African marketplace, or a popular Brazilian soap-opera, apparently the title references both.

The truth is, I have no idea what these people are singing about, with the exception of “Sunday Night Blues”, which calms and closes the album, and is the only song in English. It doesn’t matter. If this infectious collection doesn’t make you want to get up and dance, listen twice more and call me in the morning.