A Bossa Elétrica


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Imagine if a band called themselves "the Hair Metal Dudez," or "Mall Punk." A Bossa Eletrica is just about exactly that on the nose: this is traditional bossa nova, updated a bit with modern instrumentation and slick production techniques. Musically, this Swedish quintet, led by the slinky vocalist Miriam Aida, takes its cues strictly from the beaches of Brazil, from the percussion led grooves to Aida's occasionally awkward Portuguese-language vocals. Instead of the traditional flutes and acoustic guitars, however, synthesizers, electric slap bass, and drum machines form the basis of these arrangements. As a result, Eletrificacao is by no means an album for strict purists, but on the other hand, the deep Brazilian roots of songs like "Tombo in 7/4" and the ballad "Veja o Sol" keep things from being the usual vaguely Latin smooth-jazz chill-outs that have infected bars and boutique hotel lobbies from Stockholm to Rio. There are so many ways this album could have gone horribly wrong, but Eletrificacao is, unexpectedly, a low-key gem.

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