Various Artists

Axe Bahia 2008

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The 2008 entry in the Axé Bahia compilation series repeats the formula of all of its predecessors, with 16 hits by some of Brazil's most popular artists identified with the genre and its derivations, as well as the inevitable one-hit wonders. Thus, together with the familiar names of Ivete Sangalo, Netinho, Banda Eva, and Babado Novo (all seemingly present in every existing Axé Bahia or similar compilation), there are new or lesser-known artists such as Voa Dois, Vixe Mainha, and Psirico, the latter with "Mulher Brasileira (Toda Boa)," winner of the 2008 Bahia Carnival. Axé music is no longer the craze it was in the '90s, so several artists try to bring something new to the mix (particularly hip-hop, electronica, and reggae), as in the only new song present here, Babado Novo's "Extravasa," the last track singer Cláudia Leitte cut with the band before going solo. Overall, however, the results rarely stray too far away from the original recipe of infectious Afro-beat, all bouncing bass and brass section punctuations. Melodies and lyrics are short and catchy, extolling the virtues of dancing, girls, beer, the beach, and all things and places Brazilian -- particularly if from the Bahia region. Also ubiquitous are spots designed for audience participation, such as "ooh ooh" choruses and various exhortations to sing and dance. Unambitious party music, guaranteed fun.

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