Various Artists

Tropique Samba Lounge: Beleza Pura

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As detailed on the back cover, the Tropique Samba Lounge series promises "exotic rhythms, soft melodies and hot colors," a dubious-sounding proposition to fans of Brazilian music. Fortunately, the music inside is much more elegant than the liner notes, focusing mostly on samba and Brazilian easy funk of the '70s by many of the decade's most familiar artists. Four of the country's giants -- Caetano Veloso, Tom Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil -- are represented with excellent songs, although the highlights tend toward those artists who focused on a distinctly '70s brand of mellow MOR, such as Banda Black Rio's "Cravo e Canela" and Ed Motta's "Dez Mais un Amor."

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