Raimundos

Lavô Tá Novo

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Having stumbled upon a curiosity of unprecedented proportions with their patented "forro-core" (a weird combination of hardcore and a uniquely Brazilian folk/country music style called forro), Brasilia's Raimundos courageously took the next step in their evolution with their ironically named second album, Lavo ta Novo (which loosely translates to "Washed It, It's New"). The title suggested that this was more of the same -- i.e. straightforward hardcore aggression spiced with occasional diversions into Forro's unique rhythms; but, in truth, Lavo ta Novo was a far more accomplished, varied, and satisfying record than its predecessor. Furious one- to two-minute blasts like "Pitando no Kombao," "Bestinha," and the hysterical "Sereia da Pedreira" ("Construction Site Mermaid") were certainly in keeping with the band's usual, 100 mph scatological musings. But with their slower rhythms and repetitive pop choruses, songs like "Tora Tora," "O Pao da Prima," and "I Saw You Saying" (an ironic love letter to Madonna partially sung in English -- a first) saw the group breaking out of their restrictive hardcore trappings in an attempt to reach a broader audience. It worked -- and with additional, high octane singles such as the horn section-enhanced "Opa! Perai, Caceta," "Esporrei na Manivela," and "Ta querendo Desquitar" (featuring their inspirational godfather Zenilton), Raimundos finally realized their forro-core dreams to perfection. All three employ forro's distinctive rhythmic devices, as well as its highly profane, double entendre-laden lyrics to exploit typically Brazilian concerns (rampant crime, marital infidelity, and sex, sex, sex). Despite enduring numerous personal trials over the next few years, Raimundos would carry on with their success on subsequent LPs, but they'd arguably never match Lavo ta Novo's consistent excellence.

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