Mônica Salmaso


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Mônica Salmaso is one of those singers Brazil seems to produce by the dozens. She has a seductive, cool voice, mellifluous and on control over the material. She sounds wonderfully in control on the samba "Cabrochinha" and the stripped down "Estrela de Oxum," as well as an imaginative cover of Tom Zé's "Menina, Amanha de Manha." There's plenty of thought in the arrangements, such as the clarinets that are the spine of "Cidade Lagoa," and which typify this as a kind of Brazilian art music, as is evident from the piano on "Sinhazinha (Despertar)." In many ways it's an album to be admired rather than enjoyed, because it seems to keep an emotional distance, both from the heart of the material and from the listener. As such, that's fine, but it's hard to form any attachment to either the material or the singer. Salmaso may be good, but you never find the heart of her -- and that's a problem over the course of an entire CD.

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