Cabeça Dinossauro

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Acknowledged as one of the great Brazilian rock & roll records, Titãs' third album, Cabeça Dinossauro (translation: "Dinosaur Head") found the São Paulo octet giving flight to their burgeoning artistic eclecticism after years playing the soul-crushing but necessary television game on the cheesy auditorium show circuit. Wasting little time, the album kicks off with two abstract numbers, the oppressive title track and the subprimal scream chant "AA UU," before settling into a more recognizable rock & roll groove on politically charged anthems like "Igreja," "Policia," and the new wave funk "Estado Violencia." All of these were written by different combinations of songwriters from within the band's prolific ranks, and almost all may as well have been singles in their own right ("Policia," for instance, was later covered by Brazilian death metal gods Sepultura) and confirmed Titãs as a musical collective of formidable creative powers. Usually considered Titãs' leader (for no good reason other than he'd sung their first hit, "Sonifera Ilha") inscrutable, sideburn-hating vocalist Arnaldo Antunes really asserts himself via alternately scathing and humorous offerings such as "Porrada" and the very controversial "Bichos Escrotos." (One of Titãs' earliest compositions, the latter was in fact deemed so offensive as to be banned from radio play nationwide.) After wheeling off a few more pop/rock classics like "Tô Cansado" and "Homem Primata," and a pair of reggae-inflected numbers in "Família" and "Dívidas," it's Antunes, once again, who brings Cabeça Dinossauro to an impressive close with his circular, synth-dance number "O Que" -- a sign of things to come. On paper, the above diversity may seem like a hodgepodge of ill-conceived stylistic genre hopping, but the fact that it broke Titãs' career wide open for mass consumption proves instead that Cabeça Dinossauro was as entertaining as it was cerebral.

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