Various Artists

Casa do Forró

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The irregular releases of the Casa series -- as in Casa da Bossa, Casa do Samba, and in this case Casa do Forró -- present artists of fundamental importance in their respective styles in duets with comparatively unknown artists; it's a case of commercial opportunism and a test tube for the unknowns, and it's cheaper to give them trial runs in compilations rather than in dedicated releases. This volume is dedicated to forró, a generic umbrella denomination for music of northeastern Brazil. Interpreting a repertoire of genre classics are genuine northeastern artists who are obviously tied to this music, along with southeastern artists with no connection to the genre. The album begins well, with Zé Ramalho and a convincing performance by the outsider Paulinho Moska, followed by the artist Geraldo Azevedo and the pop singer Ivete Sangalo -- she is not a choice artist, but is a genuine Bahian. Trio Nordestino with pop singer/composer and northeasterner Zeca Baleiro are next in the track sequence, and Elba Ramalho and Chico César, the pair who follow, are also good proponents. The problems begin in the fifth track, shared by Lenine (a good artist in the genre) and Frejat -- a pop blues-rocker with no sensibility or knowledge of the Northeast. The next track is even worse, bringing the appropriate Amelinha together with romantic singer Maurício Mattar (in fact, not a singer but a bad soap opera actor who explores his huge popularity in a mellifluous romantic career). "Sabiá" brings together poet Nando Cordel and pop singer Patrícia Marx, and an energetic association between Antônio Barros, Cecéu, and Alcione follows. The next track brings Falcão (a northeastern humorist who uses music as a vehicle) and Genival Lacerda (a genuine forrozeiro, lost in an abusive repertoire). Capital do Sol are a faithful regional group, but their work is lost with the cheesy Sidney Magal. Limão com Mel also know the grooves, but Terra Samba are a terrible "pagodinho romântico" group. Marinês is a longstanding successful northeastern artist, but Elymar Santos is a minor romantic singer. Brucelose are a new punk rock group from the Northeast who also play pop/rock, and the Fevers are an old corny band trying to resuscitate themselves. The last song attempts to meld the incredible Dominguinhos with the typical confusion of provincial festivals, gathering everybody on the stage.

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