Jorge Ben / Jorge Ben Jor

Acústico MTV, Vol. 2

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This is the second volume of two acoustic live CDs recorded by Jorge Ben for MTV. Just as on the first part of the same live show, Ben is in form, presenting some of his best and most well-known compositions. The CD starts with the classic "Mas, Que Nada," and three other lovely songs from the same early period of Ben's career follow, namely "Por Causa de Você, Menina," "Chove, Chuva," and "Que Maravilha." "Filho Maravilha," with lyrics about a soccer player, and "Os Alquimistas Estão Chegando os Alquimistas," about alchemists, are typical examples of Ben's unique and refreshingly unpretentious brand of lyrics. "País Tropical" is an enthusiastic upbeat homage to Brazil, and the last track, "Taj Mahal," became famous all over the world when Rod Stewart copied the refrain for his hit "D'Ya Think I'm Sexy" and a lawsuit ensued. Ben brings a very luxurious orchestra and string section to accompany him on-stage here, which creates a very lush and sleek sound for the music. Of course, most of the time this sounds very different compared to the original versions, which in most cases were recorded with a much funkier and sparser sound in the '60s and '70s. The musicians are all excellent, but the music lacks much of the nerve and artistic energy of Ben's old recordings. Yet it is very nice to hear these old hits in these new arrangements, and there is no doubt that Ben is in better form here than he has been in a very long time.

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