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Over the years, I have not been able to get beyond a couple of songs on Milton Nascimento’s 1972 career-defining Clube Da Esquina. Blame the slick production and smooth baroque vibe, but I have avoided most of the other musicians associated with that album, including Lô Borges.

Well, more fool me. With 14 songs over 27 minutes, this is in many ways antithetical to Nascimento’s overblown album, though equally hard to define. Many songs are fragmentary yet fully realized, densely packed with quirkily muscular musicianship and atmosphere that could have only been produced in the '70s. Here, there are echoes of Paul Williams’ melancholy (“Faca Seu Jogo”), Serge Gainsbourg’s stoned funk (“Você Fica Melhor Assim”), and Pierre Barouh’s international bohemian folk-jazz Saravah label (“Pensa Você”); and, in this post-Tropicalista period, Borges even cleverly morphs a Nilsson-tinged ditty into a psychedelic forró (“Não Foi Nada”)!

This is a wonderfully odd, shape-shifting album that will have you scratching your head for years to come. 

Reader Comments (1)

How could you possibly call Clube da Esquina overblown?!?
Maybe dig deeper than "a couple songs in".
Not to take anything away from this fantastic album, of course.

September 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthomas

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