Madredeus

Electronico

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AllMusic Review by

The beauty, and downfall, of the remix is that it completely transforms the original piece. A good remix adds to what's there, bringing out different colors and textures while retaining the flavor. A bad remix, of which there are far more, serves, it seems, only to gratify the ego of the remixer. And the bad far outweighs the good on Electronico. Portugal's Madredeus has a wonderful acoustic niche, with aching melodies, glorious playing, and the exquisite voice of Teresa Salgueiro. What they don't have is a drummer of percussionist -- so why do so many of the remixers here insist on thumping beats, which ruin the fragility of the sound and make it, well, boring. That's why, for example, "A Andorinha do Primavera," worked over by Dusted (including Faithless members) stands out -- no beats, allowing the ambient beauty to shine. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Alpha's take on "Vem (Alem de Toda a Solidao)" as a piece of moody trip-hop (Madredeus as Portishead) removes all the band's personality. All too often, it's only snippets of Salgueiro's voice that survive. In other words, the band isn't being remixed, but eliminated. "Forget the beauty, let's hit the lowest common denominator" seems to have been the ethos for much of this album. A shame.

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