Emilio Santiago

Aquarela Brasileira 2

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Emílio Santiago is an excellent, swinging, and expressive samba singer. Unfortunately, he discovered that watered-down romantic interpretations of samba sell very well, and this obliged the discriminating listener to be careful in his/her choice of Santiago's albums. This one opens with convincing samba renditions for three samba classics in a medley; correct romantic interpretations for a Lupicínio Rodrigues medley; and a good version of a ballad for Luiz Melodia's "Pérola Negra." It is then when the first problems occur: the pop version for "E Po'Che Fa'," "Bem Que Se Quis," followed by Taiguara's "Hoje," Djavan's "Saigon," João Bosco's "Papel Marchê,," a Rita Lee medley all performed as innocuous pop ballads, and "Isto Aqui O Que É" (Ary Barroso) in a hybrid pop-samba groove. If you survived this, you can still have some pleasure with good vocal performances and almost good instrumental backing for João Bosco's "Desenho de Giz," "É" (Gonzaguinha), a Wilson Batista and a Billy Blanco medley, and Taiguara's classic "Universo Do Teu Corpo" in a good romantic interpretation. All in all, the album suffers from excessive cheesy keyboarding and general commercial approach.

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