Raised in the slums of Rio, Brazil, singer/songwriter Seu Jorge used his formidable talent and undeniable charm to great effect in director Wes Anderson's seafaring comedy the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou as a guitar strumming deckhand. The catch was that Pelé dos Santos only knew how to play Portuguese versions of David Bowie tunes, all 13 of which are featured on Hollywood's Life Aquatic Studio Sessions. Jorge possesses a voice that exudes the same regional comfort as fellow countrymen Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso, and his warm and loose guitar playing matches his timbre, resulting in a batch of covers that retain the original framing of the Bowie classics, while injecting a sunny island sweetness into their very core. While the very idea reeks of kitsch, the end product is surprisingly poignant and agreeable. Even the Thin White Duke himself seems taken with the idea, as he states in Aquatic's liner notes that "Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs acoustically in Portuguese I would never had heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with."
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger