Zé Ramalho


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One of the Northeastern values appearing in the '70s, Zé Ramalho fuses his roots with pop music. Ramalho's lyrics, long and sometimes surrealistic, together with his low and dark voice, are his most distinctive trademarks. This album had no hits, and the Northeastern influences are almost nonexistent. Musically simple, it opens with "Frevoador," heavily inspired in Bob Dylan's "Hurricane." "Entre a Serpente e a Estrela" has his peculiar interpretation of the pains of love. "Cidadão" is an old hit by Lúcio Barbosa, a sensitive song about a worker who builds an edifice but is confounded by a thief when he stares at the finished building. "A História do Jeca Que Virou Elvis Presley" utilizes the country music references for a self-ironic description where he explains how it is to be a disdained Northeasterner in the sul maravilha (wonder South). Corrosive lyrics full of social criticism are found in "Botas de Sete Léguas," where technology and industrialization met each other to promote human suffering. "Porta Secreta" arises as the most interesting melody: a samba-canção with heavy choro influences, performed by excellent musicians of the latter genre: Rafael Rabello (seven-string Brazilian violão), Joel do Bandolim (mandolin), Franklin da Flauta (flute), and Gilson de Freitas (pandeiro). Northeastern roots in full are brought by the xote "Do Terceiro Milênio Para Frente," where the focus is an optimistic vision of the future, finishing with a viola de cego ending.

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