Gilberto Gil / Caetano Veloso

Tropicália 2

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Between harsh criticism (due to the retro opportunistic use of Tropicália), and sectarian defense, Tropicália 2 yielded a Caetano Veloso/Gilberto Gil tour through E.U.A. and Europe one year after this release. The reference to Tropicália was used as a safe-conduct for the duo's incursions in electronics, axé music (the contemporary and pragmatic sound of Bahia) and other commercial exploitation -- since under Tropicália everything goes (or used to go, some 30 years ago). The album opens with "Haiti," a dry percussive electronic pattern over which Caetano and Gil speak verses dealing with racism; "Cinema Novo" is a beautiful samba, whose lyrics "explain" and greet the Brazilian cinema movement which gained the world. "Nossa Gente" brings the percussive sounds of axé music together with funk brass attacks. "Rap Popconcreto" is a musical concrete poem which echoes as a synthesis of the old concept of Tropicália -- utilizing samplers in an improbable atmosphere, piling several old recordings from various artists singing the word "Quem?" ("Who?"). The Jimi Hendrix song "Wait Until Tomorrow" receives a Brazilian percussion treatment, and "Cada Macaco No Seu Galho" is a Novos Baianos hit which received an old baião groove treatment in the drum-machine programming, mixed with modern Bahian percussion. "Baião Atemporal" is a beautiful baião with a very modern and haunting melody and arrangement. The album, in philosophical terms, expresses fragile concepts. Poetically and musically, represents good entertainment, and, in its best moments, good Art.

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