Sergio Mendes / Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

Ye-Me-Le

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Perhaps the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 sound was at last beginning to show signs of wear, for not only didn't Ye-Me-Le produce any hits ("Wichita Lineman" reached a lowly number 95), but the album is also less enterprising and fresh-sounding than its predecessors. There is a surprising shortage of Brazilian material, which was always Mendes' most valuable contribution in the long run, and more reliance upon routine covers of pop/rock standards like "Easy to Be Hard" and "What the World Needs Now." But there are special moments, like the hypnotic "Masquerade" (no relation to the Leon Russell/George Benson hit), Sergio Mihanovich's haunting "Some Time Ago," and another winning treatment of a Beatles tune, "Norwegian Wood," where Mendes cuts loose a killer solo on electric piano (believe it or not, the 45 rpm single version features more of that solo than the LP).

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