Various Artists

Break 'n Bossa: The American Chapter

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Break 'n Bossa is such a promising title that a little bit of disappointment is probably inevitable. And if this second volume, like the first, lets you down just a little, it's not because the bossa nova grooves around which it's built are anything less than sinuously lovely -- the problem is that, although the press materials describe the album as consisting of "bossa-tinged electronica," what it really sounds like is electronica-tinged bossa. That's disappointing because if the beats were a bit harder and more insistent, and if the textures were a bit more adventurous, this would be a genuinely exciting album. As it is, it's a genuinely fun and funky one, and there's nothing wrong with that. Highlights include the relatively exhilarating "Kickin' Samba" by Soulstance, Combo Granata's horn-heavy "Colpo Su Colpo," and Noorda's "Things I Don't Imagine," which ends the album with a bang -- albeit a smooth, jazzy one. [All tracks on this collection are licensed from the catalog of the Milan-based Edizioni Ishtar label, which should be investigated by all fans of modern bossa nova.]

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