Eva 2001

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From the futuristic title and the cover (a silvery negative of a photograph), listeners would be tempted to expect a piece of experimental Brazilian music in similar company to Gal Costa or Maria Bethânia. Instead, this Evinha album is a piece of bright, sunny pop with very few rough edges or surprising moments. Still, considered as such, it's a nice little record; producer/arranger Milton Miranda marshals his repertoire of instruments, engaging guitar, brass, and woodwinds to create a very dynamic portrait of Brazilian pop. The compositions are also good, virtually all of them contemporary to the recordings, including two by Marcos Valle (with brother Paulo Sergio) and two by Renato Correa. (And despite the lack of experimentation, there is one glimpse of the Now Sound, a cover of "Theme from Valley of the Dolls," with Brazilian lyrics, of course.) Evinha's vocals are up to the task, although it's clear she doesn't belong to the first rank of Brazilian females (not even in the pop ranks), closest to the warmth and charm of Dóris Monteiro or Astrud Gilberto.

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