Banda Tropical

Mas Que Nada: Samba Reggae Party

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A release of Brazilian sambas infused with a touch of reggae and a healthy dosage of electronica. Vocalist Valdeci Oliveira is really the focal point of the various numbers, as they switch from old classics by Jorge Ben and the team of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinceus de Moraes to new items by the band itself. While the new takes on the old classics are relatively mundane given the masterful work done on them originally, the new compositions by Banda Tropical themselves are actually quite listenable and danceable numbers. So Chata pumps the tempo up far past the usual samba, mixing in a huge amount of keyboard work and a piece of what could easily pass as a sample from an 80s movie soundtrack. In other places, the keyboards meld more easily with the vocals and the result is a pleasant little samba bouncing with electronic beats and riffs. The finale, Assombraco, provides a quick and less electronic samba emulating the basic Carnaval mood as well as possible, with some nice guitar work and a hint of a possible samba whistle in the background. At the discount or midprice level, the album does quite well to outdo its rivals on the store shelves, though for a fuller picture, one might wish to pick up some original renditions of the various classics that are covered by the band here.

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