Mônica da Silva


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For her second outing, Mônica da Silva very neatly brings together her Brazilian and American sides, making softly sensual indie pop that casts its tendrils around Rio MPB (Brazilian popular music). There are several touches of samba and bossa, and even a small nod toward the very percussive axé music, but, along with partner Chad Alger, who shares playing, production, and compositional credits, she's created a hybrid that's her own, and ridiculously addictive. The two of them are responsible for most of the instrumental work, including programming, but there's nothing lo-fi about the sound. It's immersive and complete, and many of the songs, whether in English or Portuguese, are things of great joy. Whether laid-back or upbeat, there's a confident warmth to da Silva's singing; she truly sounds as if she's loving every second of it. The Brazilian roots are strong, but ultimately this is a remarkably cosmopolitan record -- "Somewhere," for instance, harks back to the soulful '70s heyday of Stevie Wonder -- while still sounding very up to date. Da Silva is doing something unique with Brazilian music, following her own muse, and sounding spectacular.

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