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Sou de Qualquer Lugar

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Album Review

Daniela Mercury obviously learned a lot from her last Emilio Estefan-produced album in that she moved from being a Brazilian star to the real international stage, injecting plenty of studio gloss into the album. Well, the gloss remains, thick and heavy, even if her trademark, percussive-heavy axé sound is far less in evidence on this disc. She lays her cards on the table from the outset, as "De Qualquer Lugar" brings in plenty of beats and programming, and more than a touch of electronica. This is a modern album, one aimed at a wide audience. Having been the Queen of Axé for so long, Mercury is straining for the big time. And on the basis of the slower "Estrellas," a duet with Toni Garrido, or her own composition "Ata-Me," she deserves wider recognition. But her material also comes from some of Brazil's top composers, people like Carlinhos Brown, Gilberto Gil, and Chico Science, making for a cross-section of MPB (Brazilian popular music) writers. Brown's work probably fits her best, with its naturally percussive feel — she's a singer who seems to feel the rhythm more than most, and use it as a springboard to a higher energy level. While it's not her best album — at times the gloss is laid on a little too thickly, obscuring the soul in Mercury's wonderful, pliable voice — it still has its moments. And when she hits it right, there's no one in Brazil, or the Latin world, to beat her.


Born: 28 July 1965 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

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

Brazil is rich with musical heroes, past as well as present, and Daniela Mercury is one of them, for she was the premier axé performer of the 1990s, with a goddess-like standing in Salvador da Bahia. This is because that northeastern capital city is ground zero for axé, a uniquely Bahian style that is generally described as a fusion of samba, reggae, and rock, with some Caribbean rhythms thrown in for good measure. It's a relentlessly upbeat, highly percussive style of music that is the open-air...
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Sou de Qualquer Lugar, Daniela Mercury
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