Luciana Souza's second project with producer Larry Klein for the Verve label is a more authentic, Brazilian-based project than her previous tribute to Joni Mitchell, and showcases further why this vocalist is one of the true original voices in contemporary music. Keyboardist Larry Goldings, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, guitarists Larry Koonse or Romero Lubambo, percussionist Cyro Baptista, and Klein on electric bass guitar offer musicality that is grand but not grandiose. On this recording, Souza sings lyrics in English or Portuguese that speak about heartfelt realms of home and togetherness with nature, in co-opted assistance with Klein, David Batteau, and in works adapted from e.e. cummings. At her best, the wise and wistful Souza sings the song of belonging "Our Gilded Home," and the slow, spirit/soul tune "Once Again" with all the patience and virtue of an angel/saint. On the other side, she is able to inject excitement and energy in equal proportions during the pure, bouncy, sharp-edged, popping "Adeus America/Eu Quero Um Samba," and the jumping out of her skin "Sorriu Para Mim." The most intriguing selection applicable to modern times is "Circus Life," an incredible, extended treatise on the constant, unexpected ups and downs of the world, with an emphasis lyric "the cure is worse than the disease" among many others -- listen closely to this one. "Fire & Wood" sports the heaviest beat from Klein and a retro sound via Goldings, whereas the opposite "Chuva" is pure and light tropicalia, a yearning song at sunset. The title track, "Tide," is more a tide pool left after a beach wash down, with Goldings and Koonse's slow 4/4 lines ebbing and flowing. Where Lubambo is a jam master urging the vocalist to ride on his cameos, Koonse throughout inspires Souza to soar, while Goldings creates magic whether playing organ, acoustic piano, or Fender Rhodes -- he is the straw that stirs this oceanic drink. Thankfully, this is not an overtly commercialized effort, which suits Souza's natural gifts, and comes easily recommended along with her earlier works.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos