Marina Lima

Pierrot do Brasil

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After dealing with personal and vocal problems since 1995, the pop singer Marina Lima returns with this release, co-conceived and directed by Suba, the Yugoslavian producer rooted in Brazil who died in 2000. The album's concept revolves around the theme of Brazil. Being a pop/dance music artist, Lima's foray into Brazilian culture seems opportunistic. One listen to Pierrot de Brasil reveals that her personal style (which is a mix of several incongruent styles) had to be severely changed to accommodate her new sound. Singing in a lower range than usual, including samples of pure choros ("Delicado" by Waldir Azevedo), several quotations of archetypal Brazilian items such as the Pierrot and the samba, in fact what Lima is doing is offering a stronger reference to his work, which doesn't have a solid root. As usual, the generous motherland is there to offer the generous shelter to its sons and daughters who only remember their roots for commercial reasons. The album shows only a superficial resemblance with Brazil, made of stereotypes. The opening track "Pierrot" addresses her return of the dark regions of suffering helped by the excerpt of the solo by Azevedo serving as motivic basis for the accompaniment, and by danceable electronics that try to emulate a samba, recourse retaken in the fifth track, the instrumental "Sua," with its weak melody. "Leva (Esse Samba, Esse Amor)" talks about "samba," but is propelled by a funk backbeat, with dull programmable drum machines trying unsuccessfully to instill some samba feel. "Pra Ver Meu Bem Corar" has retro-bossa exhumations. "Portos e Vinhos," freed from the obsessive programmed drone, essays a little dramatic density à la MPB, and carefully manages to convey the pop feel. The stylized drum machine samba returns in her version of Lori Carson's "Something's Got Me" ("Algo Me Pegou"). In sum, a pop album whose pretentious ambition of expressing some degree of Brazilianism is never reached, but which will work very well at the dance tracks, with the Brazilian elements serving only as an exotic spice. Nothing wrong with that, provided it's understood that the country's essence is aloof. Not even the most distinctive image of Brazil abroad, the picture of the Redemptory Christ, printed on the back cover, can help Lima on this.

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