Despite his history of leading noise-rock bands like DNA and the Ambitious Lovers, Arto Lindsay has always made clear his connection to his native Brazil. He has maintained that connection by producing such artists as Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa, and theoretically there's always been the promise that his Brazilian roots would come out in his own music. The Subtle Body, or O Corpo Sutil, had its origins as a promised bossa nova album for Ryuichi Sakamoto's Japanese label Gut, which released it in the summer of 1995. Fair warning, then, to fans of skronk: this is an album with an Antonio Carlos Jobim cover ("Este Seu Olhar"), on which Lindsay is accompanied by Nana Vasconcelos -- as well as such art-rock associates as Sakamoto, Brian Eno, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot -- on which he employs samba beats and spare instrumentation, crooning frequently oblique lyrics in English and Portuguese. The result is a charming, restrained record, not the kind of adjectives generally used to describe Lindsay's music before now.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann