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André Carvalho

  Dadi Records  
Release Date:


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We received this promo download from a Brazilian artist. I am not really all that familiar with Brazilian music. I mean, it's a big country with lots of people, and off hand i can only name two artists i own records from: CSS and Joćo Gilberto. I have no idea if my experience with Brazilian music is in anyway representative of the music popular in that country, although i bet my experience is typical for Americans.

Mr. Carvalho is a second generation Brazilian musician, being the son of someone named Dadi, who is a bassist. Apparently Dadi does pretty well, because he runs his own label. However, let me admit at the outset that that this music has no real context for me. Is Mr. Carvalho is a typical artist for his country, or is he in an outcast? That is, is this musical normal for Brazil, or does it seem really strange to Brazilians? I have no idea.

It sounds pretty cool to me though. The music light and generally jazzy, with a playful air. This fits neatly with my limited experience of Brazilian music, in that i can imagine people dancing on a beach to this album. Now, i know that many people dislike hearing music in a foreign language, so i have to point out that Mr. Carvalho sings in Portuguese. For all i know he is saying, "Death to all American music nerds!" over and over, but that phrase happens to sound poetic in Portuguese. I doubt it, but it is possible. So if you are one of those people who want to know what the lyrics are about, please mind the language gap.

The album is about forty minutes long, and it is an enjoyable forty minutes of light rhythms and soulful vocals. Apparently Mr. Carvalho plays guitar and sings. His guitarwork is nice, varying between fast strumming and loose picking. It is a relaxed style, well suited to accompany his voice. His voice is pretty good, not too deep, and generally he sings with a light touch.

The production is really good on this record. The various instruments are all clear and balanced, meaning that the guitar and the shaking rhythm and light bass compliment the voice, neither overpowering it nor being overpowered by it. I like this balance, as it has a real "live band" feel. I think that really works for this music. Let me go over a few high points on the record, and perhaps you will see what I mean.

Asa features electric guitar along with the acoustic that dominates the record, and on the chorus the guitars swell up around the voice, the drums get a bit louder, and it feels like a normal indie rock song. This song is very close to what most EvilSponge readers are familiar with. Think of it as Superchunk with a Latin feel. Great stuff.

On Bom Carvalho cuts loose with the guitar while a wandering bass line plays counterpoint. The overall effect reminds me of Thao and The Get Down Stay Down, a sort of fast-paced, catchy vaguely folkish song. On the other hand, Daquele is a mellow song that seems almost shoegazery. There is a light wash of chiming guitar in the background. This reminds me of a male-vocalled version of Nona Delichas.

On Pinto o seu Ceu there is a jazzy organ underneath the tropical rhythm. The guitar is strumming along rather fast, and the light organ really works with it, making this song remind me of that 1960s Brazilian jazz. Alvo certo has a similar feel, adding a nice chiming in the background, a marimba or something that makes the song somewhat Tortoise-like.

But the entire record is pleasant, not just the tunes that stand out to me. It is fun listening, even if i have no idea where this music falls on the spectrum of Brazilian music. I happen to like it, and if you like catchy tunes with shoulder shaking rhythms, then this is a fine release.

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