Ultraje a Rigor

Sexo!!

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Two years after their hit debut, Ultraje a Rigor's second album, Sexo!! (no translation necessary, really), barely avoided the dreaded sophomore slump tag. Or perhaps it didn't, and it's instead the alarming mediocrity of its successors that makes it seem somewhat salvageable after all. Whatever the case, Sexo!! retained most of the hallmarks from the band's acclaimed first album: basic, fun, off-the-cuff rock & roll meant to entertain, not necessarily enlighten. And of course one need only look at its title to grasp the length and breadth of the band's intentions here, or is it obsessions? Declared in no uncertain terms by manic opener "Eu Gosto de Mulher" (I Like Women), such thoughts also carry the day in the generic but efficient title track (complete with Jethro Tull-approved flute solo), and what is perhaps the only true classic on par with the first LP, the hilariously cheesy "Pelado" (Naked). Problems arise almost immediately, though -- with second track "Dênis, o quê você quer ser quando Crescer?" to be exact -- one of those throwaway Ultraje numbers that comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Virtually inexistent on album number one, these useless workouts unfortunately begin taking over on Sexo!!, with additional main offenders including the quirky, but ultimately aimless semi-instrumental "Will Robinson e seus Robots" and "Ponto de Ônibus" -- a poor cop on their friends the Titãs. Even worse is the atrocious doo wop ballad "A Festa" -- unfit for recording in any language, nation, or planet (no thanks to its misplaced heavy metal guitar solo). Somewhere in between, the lively "Terceiro" comes off well enough thanks to its amusing, self-deprecating lyrics, the paranoid detective story "Maximillian Sheldon" is, at the very least, rather interesting, while bassist Maurício Defendi's ill-disguised heavy metal anthem "Prisioneiro" makes for some variety. Taken as a whole, however, Sexo!! exposed the fact that Ultraje a Rigor's inexistent creative progress had them headed down the road toward hopeless obsolescence -- a fact driven home by their next, equally disappointing outing Crescendo.