Carlinhos Brown

Alfagamabetizado

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It seems nearly every country has a star that represents its "voice of the people" (i.e., Jamaica's Bob Marley, Senegal's Baaba Maal), and Carlinhos Brown, who's often referred to as "the Brazilian Prince," fulfills that role in his homeland. Alfagamabetizado, produced by Wally Badarou and Arto Lindsay, finds Brown mixing Brazil's rich traditional musical heritage with a variety of modern music forms to great effect. "Pandeiro-Deiro" is an up-tempo number that mixes rollicking Brazilian percussion and melodies with rocking guitars and a funky feel, which is nicely offset by the lilting samba of the following track, "Covered Saints." On other tracks, such as "Cumplicidade de Amário," which rides an infectious hip-hop groove played on Brazilian drums, the fusion of traditional and modern influences is so seamless that only the lyrics remind you that Brown isn't yet the American pop star he deserves to be.

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