Joyce [Não Muda, Não]

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Brazilian vocalist Joyce's debut record from 1968 is a breezy, swinging affair, full of wonderful songs and lovely vocals. Joyce's cheery, sweet voice never fails to captivate, as it floats above lush string and horn arrangements layered atop a relaxed guitar, and a bass drums combo led by Dori Caymmi. The songs are written mostly by Joyce herself, but she also covers Marcos Valle ("Bloco Do Eu Sozinho") and Caetano Veloso ("Ave-Maria") among others. Her voice is crystal clear and pristinely joyous; she sings like she has a big smile on her face at all times, even breaking into laughter on "Nao Muda, Nao." That is not imply that there is no depth to her singing, as on heavier tracks, like "Superego" and "Cantiga De Procura," she captures a real sense of melancholy. The album's arrangements are very full but never distracting, as they provide a cushy pillow of sound for the vocals. The only moment of distraction is the questionable addition of a male vocal group, Momento 4uatro, on "Ave Maria." Joyce is a wonderful example of orchestral bossa nova, and one of Joyce's strongest.

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