Our Kind of Bossa

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Fifteen years on and these young bossa nova innovators aren't so young or innovative anymore, but Bossacucanova's electro-update of Brazilian pop comes through the speakers with renewed charm on Nossa Onda e Essa, the group's first studio effort in nine years. Perhaps it's the pleasure of getting back to it after so much time off, or perhaps it's the stellar guest list this time out, starting with Oscar Castro-Neves, Os Cariocas, and Wilson Simoninha, all of who join the opening "Adeus America," a breezy whirlwind of kitsch where the maudlin sound of a muted trumpet meets the mournful sound of a turntable spinning down. It's this combination of cool, clever, and calm that makes "Segure Tudo" with Martinho da Vila and Cris Delanno sound like the dream of Kraftwerk covering War's "Low Rider" while drunk on Caipirinha and watching all the girls from Ipanema walking by, and Delanno does just fine on her own during "Balanca (Nao Pode Parar!)," a funky, Brazilian idea of the spy movie theme and probably the closest Bossacucanova ever get to the descriptor of "rollicking." Justin Timberlake need not learn Portuguese, as Wilson Simoninha injects enough slick swagger into "Waldomiro Pena" to bring the sexy back to Brazil, but the rest of the highlights hold more weight as strings and Emilio Santiago fill the soul during "Segure Tudo," while Maria Rita and David Feldman both sparkle on "Deixa a Menina," the rare Bossacucanova number that almost forgets to blend genres. Some samba beats take the band in a slightly new direction, but otherwise, this is business as usual, which in Bossacucanova's case, means bright and beautiful.

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