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Album Review

Because she was based in the U.K. for 15 years prior to this 2008 release, Monica Vasconcelos is probably better known to the English-speaking audience than most Brazilian pop singers. Also, because she'd collaborated on a few recordings with Robert Wyatt — singing on the title track of his Just So You Are album, with Wyatt returning the favor by singing backup on and co-writing a couple of tracks on this CD — at least a little cred will spill over from the hip rock audience. But while Hih, her sixth album, is a consistently accomplished piece of Brazilian music, it's more a competent representation of that style than it is a groundbreaking one, or even one showcasing a very distinctive vocalist. Amiable might be too mild an adjective for her singing, given how romantically inclined this form of music is, but that's the kind of quality projected — smooth and sensual without getting fiery or personal. It is a somewhat varied program, a feature that's almost essential for a disc that lasts 72 minutes, with occasional vocals in English, though the predominant tone is easygoing jazzy numbers with a touch of lounge. Predictably, the most unusual tracks are the ones on which Wyatt participates, both because his singing is far more idiosyncratic than Vasconcelos', and because of the lyrics, to which Wyatt's partner Alfreda Benge contributed. "Lagrimas Negras" also adds a welcome touch of serious gravity in what's more often than not a lightweight presentation.

Biography

Born: 13 November 1966 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s

b. 13 November 1966, São Paulo, Brazil. A warm and expressive vocalist, Vasconcelos began her musical career in the clubs of her home-town. Moving to London, England in 1992, she continued to sing and formed Nóis (meaning ‘Us’), her backing band, in 1994. She was joined by Brazilian guitarist Ife Tolentino alongside British jazz musicians including keyboard player Steve Lodder (best known for his work with Andy Sheppard) and trombonist Paul Nieman. The ensemble’s distinctively Brazilian fusion of...
Full bio
Hih, Monica Vasconcelos
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: 28 January 2008

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