One of Brazil's most enduring and successful rock bands, Os Paralamas do Sucesso have also been among the most consistent and creatively daring in their approach to integrating Brazilian and American rock and pop. Originally referred to by critics as Brazil's answer to the Police (not unfounded, given the occasional similarities captured on early singles like "Oculos" and "Cinema Mudo"), the trio quickly transcended the tag, fearlessly delving into Caribbean rhythms like ska and reggae with even greater abandon than Sting's crew, all the while spicing it up with Brazil's rich musical lexicon to boot. The group's palette only became brighter and more diversified as its career progressed, resulting in the numerous hit singles flaunted here like a bountiful taster's menu for the listener to sample. Brazilian pop/rock classics all, these range from the swinging salsa horns heard on "Perplexo" and "O Beco," to the banal but infectious sea shanties "Melo do Marinheiro," to the outright romantic balladry of "Quase Um Segundo," and into the sublimely desperate lover's plea "Lanterna Dos Afogados" (complete with tasteful flugelhorn solo). And that's not all. First hit "Vital E Sua Moto" (which charmingly chronicles the love affair between a boy and his motorcycle) is given a brand new spin around the block, and the band's heralded performance at the 1987 Montreaux Festival is represented by one of their best reggaes, "Sera que Vai Chover?" Finally, listen closely to the smash hit "Alagados" after its deceptive synthesizer, and notice a seductive guitar figure later co-opted by Living Colour for their hit "Solace of You." Following this collection's 1990 cutoff date, Os Paralamas do Sucesso continued to thrive in their homeland with only slightly less-frequent chart prosperity, while simultaneously making successful strides into other Latin markets with a set of Spanish-language albums and singles; but for a thorough round-up of their early-days glory, Arquivo is a near-perfect collection.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia