Tom Zé

Tom Zé [Grande Liquidaçao]

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Tom Zé's first release from 1968 is certainly not as unique as some of his material from the '70s, but it's a far cry from faceless. A true Tropicalia artist, Tom Zé's material on this album runs from traditional Brazilian pop to overly quixotic arrangements -- all twisted around his convoluted vocal melodies. Even early on in his career, was taking from a multitude of genres -- funk, psychedelic rock, and bossa nova -- and creating some kind of unheard pop exotica. This is especially apparent on "Gloria," with its changing tempos, bubbling instrumentation, and off-the-wall harmonies. It's a lot to take in -- each track seems to zip by before the listener can grasp hold of it. Perhaps even aware of this, Tom Zé takes a break between songs to address the listener, then resumes his zigzagging trajectory. The album also includes the fantastic "Parque Industrial" (which was recorded by Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso on the Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circenses LP). This album is a great listen for anyone interested in Brazilian pop music and the restructuring thereof -- yet it is almost tame compared to the found sounds, tape loops, lyrical deconstruction, and other surrealist elements that Tom Zé would grow to include on his later recordings.

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