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Personalidade: Gal Costa

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Album Review

After Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa was the most visible exponent of Brazil's controversial Tropicalia movement in the late '60s and early '70s. However, as this 16-track career retrospective (part of an ongoing series starring Brazilian pop and jazz stars) proves, Costa's material is rarely as provocative as those of her friends and occasional collaborators. Even the songs written by Veloso (five out of the 16) are more along the lines of the wistful "London, London," written during his enforced exile in England and sung by Costa as if she's the one stuck in a foreign city with little hope of returning home. Personalidade hits the high points of the Tropicalia years, but it primarily focuses on Costa's later material, where her impeccably controlled and warm voice is surrounded by small and resolutely tasteful jazz combos and the material tends to be from the songbooks of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chico Buarque. It's unfailingly wonderful stuff. Costa is a magnificent singer with an unerring taste for picking the right songs, but listening to classic early albums like Gal and Legal will give a fuller picture of what she's capable of.


Born: 1946 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Genre: MPB

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Gal Costa is an awarded singer with an extensive solo discography and international experience. A fundamental presence in the Tropicalia movement, she has been in Brazil's leading team of singers for decades. Since very young, she has been involved with music as a singer and violão player; when her mother's business broke she became a record shop attendant, where he spent long hours listening to music, especially João Gilberto. She became acquainted with Caetano Veloso in 1963, and friendly disputed...
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Personalidade: Gal Costa, Gal Costa
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