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Bebel Gilberto Remixed

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Album Review

Bebel Gilberto Remixed follows a certain pattern. After the Brazilian songstress with the sacred genes scored a hit record with her modern classic Tanto Tempo in 2000, her record label, Six Degrees, pieced together and released a remix album in its wake, Tanto Tempo Remixes. While that remix album didn't come close to matching the magic of its source, it was a nice enough release, and a great number of fans simply were happy to have more Gilberto to enjoy, even if it was a piecemeal departure from the original Suba productions that had made Tanto Tempo so special. Then, after Gilberto scored a hit record with her follow-up in 2004, Bebel Gilberto, Six Degrees again pieced together and released a remix album in its wake, Bebel Gilberto Remixed. And again, while this remix album doesn't come close to matching the magic of its source, it's a nice enough release, and a great number of fans simply will be happy to have more Gilberto to enjoy, even if it is a piecemeal departure from the original breezy set of half-English, half-Brazilian Portuguese songs. Piecemeal or not, Six Degrees did an expert job putting this collection of remixes together. The label rounded up roster of ace remixers like Thievery Corporation, Tom Middleton, and Nuspirit Helsinki, along with some fresh blood like hot up-and-comers Telefon Tel Aviv, Spiritual South, and Yam Who? You really can't scoff at the talent rounded up here; not only are these folks some of the best in their business, but for the most part, they're well suited for the breezy, slightly bossa style of the source material, with the Latin Project and John Beltran standing out as particularly intriguing participants. But no matter how promising all of this may seem, the fact of the matter is that the resulting album is a mixed bag. Each producer steals his own respective show, putting his production front and center, which is the opposite of Bebel Gilberto, where the productions were subtle and spare. That's certainly not the case here; these productions are big and often dramatic, so much so that Bebel's voice often seems like window dressing. Such is the nature of such remix projects, though. Anyone who's sat through a good number of these such albums should know what to expect. That's why only beat heads, DJs, and diehard fans are likely to be overjoyed with Bebel Gilberto Remixed. It's a nice enough release and Six Degrees did a commendable job, for sure, but most folks should stick with the source material. After all, Bebel Gilberto is a great album, if not quite on a par with the excellence of Tanto Tempo, so if you're understandably itching for more, you're better off going with the latter if you haven't already. And if you have both albums, why not try some other Brazilian artists of a similar style? There's much more to Brazilian music than Bebel, no doubt, and if you're looking for a good point of departure, try Maria Rita's very impressive self-titled debut; pretty much anything by Marisa Monte (Rose and Charcoal or Memories, Chronicles and Declarations of Love, in particular); or Suba's classic São Paulo Confessions, which is as close as you'll come to reliving the magic of Tanto Tempo.

Biography

Born: May 12, 1966 in New York, NY

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bossa nova vocalist Bebel Gilberto has partnered with such world-famous artists as Kenny G, David Byrne, Amon Tobin, Smoke City, the Thievery Corporation, Towa Tei, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, and João Gilberto. Gilberto has also enjoyed worldwide...
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Bebel Gilberto Remixed, Bebel Gilberto
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