Salomé de Bahia

Brasil

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AllMusic Review by

The spicy charm of Salomé de Bahia's feathered headdress and mile-wide smile comes through loud and clear on her second album, the vacation you can stick in your CD player that is Brasil. Seamlessly joined together with spoken word interludes and masterfully produced by Parisian hipster Bob Sinclair, the album incorporates a wide range of Brazilian flavors with a true disco attitude. This is dance music, and Brazil through the eyes of France, but it's organic if not authentic and electronica doesn't even enter the picture. Salomé herself is a brassy version of early Grace Jones with just a touch of Josephine Baker but hardly a hint of diva. Easygoing numbers like "Lanca Perfume" round out her character while her version of "Copacabana" -- yes, that "Copacabana" -- gives her a cheeky brush of camp that's entirely infectious. Most of the tunes here -- save "Brigitte Bardot," which is too bubbly for its own good -- are meaty, three of them coming from the songbook of Brazilian legend Jorge Ben. A full disco orchestra with sizeable chorus backs her up, keeping with the cabaret and revue upbringing that's the heart of de Bahia's style. Her Portuguese version of Stevie Wonder's "Another Star," "Outro Lugar," is the sparkling highlight, but "Taj Mahal," "Cada Vez," and "Sambala" will all the keep the party alive. Brasil smiles at you, hands you a cold caipirinha, and winks at you with every twirl of its colorful skirt. Joyful stuff that will bring a smile to your face. No sunny day off should be without it.

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