Brazilian Girls

New York City

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On their third album, the ever eclectic Brazilian Girls return to the joyful bohemian groove magic of their debut. Most importantly, they once again make it sound effortless and play their downtown worldbeat loose rather than lazy, making their loft music more welcoming than it was on Talk to La Bomb, the too clever sophomore effort that suffered from a slight case of entitlement. Here, the meticulously arranged opener, "St. Petersburg," announces that the Girls are out to earn their accolades this time as soundtrack music, tribal beats, and shuffling jazz all pass under Sabina Sciubba's intoxicating vocals. When she offers "Here is your anthem/Now go to hell," it's plain to see that the playfulness and cool flippancy are back, too, something that makes the singalong highlight "Ricardo" such a good-time single, perfect for chic summery weekends. "Internacional" is "Peter Gunn Theme" versus any given Serge Gainsbourg song, and when tubas meet Sciubba's tongue-rolling pronouncement of "Berlin," the track of the same name becomes something like a new wave revival of the musical Cabaret. Rounding out this unclassifiable effort are peaceful moments like "L'Interprete" and electronica-aware pop songs like "I Want Out," plus plenty of Astrud Gilberto-inspired numbers that explain why this group of non-Brazilian musicians gets to use the "B" word. With Brazilian Girls' sense of wonder and love of musical globe-trotting as strong as ever, New York City is a welcome return to form for this very special group.

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