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City of Men (The Soundtrack)

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Album Review

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles' film adaptation of Paulo Lins' book City of God was highly regarded upon its release in 2002, as it followed a group of Rio de Janeiro slum children through three decades of their brutal and violent lives. Like its predecessor, the sequel City of Men (produced by Meirelles this time and directed by Paulo Morelli) was scored by Antonio Pinto. The present-day setting allows Pinto, who performs the music largely by himself (playing guitar, bass, flute, percussion, drums, keyboards, melodica, guitarron, cavaquinho, and vibratone, in addition to singing and programming) to create a lively contemporary score that touches on everything from rap ("Vietnam a Brasileira" features Rappin' Hood) to samba, with lots of other percussion-heavy cues as well. The brief soundtrack album slows down two-thirds of the way through for "Heraldo e a Memória" and "A Guerra e a Paz," while "O iPod de Mina" is an acoustic guitar solo by Edmilson Capelupi. The most unusual track is "Radio," in which different styles of music are juxtaposed by what sounds like the switching of a radio from station to station. Pinto thus varies his effects, finding appropriate music for the compelling story.

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