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Sunshine Barato

Mosquitos

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Album Review

The Mosquitos' second album, Sunshine Barato, is no departure from their first as it is also a sunny, happy, laid-back disc that melds the sweet sounds of Brazilian pop with a simple and direct indie pop approach. In simple terms, Astrud or Bebel Gilberto meets Belle & Sebastian or the Pastels. If that sounds like your idea of musical heaven, this is the record for you. It doesn't reach the heights of the best bossa nova or indie pop but this is probably the best mixture of the two over the course of an entire album. The goofy everyman vocals of Chris Root blend perfectly with the sticky sugar-sweet vocals of Juju Stulbach, singing separately they both enchant but when they sing together it raises tiny goose bumps. Their vocals, especially Juju's, are the best part of the record. A record that may not be a departure for the group but is a major improvement. Sunshine Barato has better songs with sharper hooks like "Shooting Star," "Vagalume" and the blissful title track. It also boasts more variation from song to song and a better sense of dynamics (check the pocket epic "The Ending" for a solid example). The instrumentation is more organic sounding but also more interesting as the band adds lots of neat little musical hooks like synth squiggles, conga drums and even harmonica on the uncharacteristically hard rocking "Domesticada." Sunshine Barato is not the kind of record (and the Mosquitos are not the kind of band) that will change your life but like a warm breeze on a chilly day or a smile from a stranger, they will brighten your day immeasurably. So listen up indie poppers, Brazilian aficionados and lovers of light and polite pop, if you need a hug, throw on Sunshine Barato; it is the next best thing.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

If that mythical "tall and tan and young and lovely" girl from Ipanema fronted an indie pop band, it would sound something — or maybe exactly — like New York City's Mosquitos. Lead singer Juju Stulbach actually is from Brazil and spent time on the beaches of Ipanema, but the rest of the Mosquitos — keyboardist Jon Marshall Smith and singer/guitarist Chris Root — are from the lower east side of Manhattan. Root claims he was an early adopter of the relaxed Brazilian way, coming...
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Sunshine Barato, Mosquitos
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