To get this straight from the jump: "Joyce" in Tom & Joyce is not the Brazilian Joyce, but in fact Joyce Hozé from Paris, who has never (like her partner and cousin Thomas Naïm) set foot in Brazil. Were these performances not so breathtaking and emotionally honest, it would be worth taking the pair to task for deliberately trying to deceive listeners into thinking that this was a collaboration of Tom Jobim and Joyce. But, given how solid their two albums are, and especially this one, it's difficult to fault them for idol worship. Besides that, Hozé's Portuguese is flawless (even though she spends much of the album singing in French). This is cultural identity theft if there ever were a case of it anywhere; Naïm, so obviously under the sway of Jobim and João Gilberto, set out to transcend his techno-electronica roots and make a solid samba album. Enlisting his multilingual cousin, who is supremely gifted in the vocal department, didn't hurt. Here samba, Cuban son, and bossa blend seamlessly on two handfuls of tunes that begin to tell a story of sensual delight, cultural miscegenation, and postmodern appropriation that is a delight to the senses. The songs might not be flawlessly written, but they are certainly as fine as anything else coming from Rio these days. This is auspicious and should be heard for its stellar production and presentation alone, though the songs and arrangements are very fine as well.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
feat: Everton Orchestra Nelson