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Album Review

From nowhere, it seems, Andrea Marquee emerges as one of the most interesting and adventurous singers in Brazilian popular music. Her debut, which features plenty of her own compositions like the edgy "Cantos de Trabalho," manages to be both accessible and adventurous — a skill that seems common in Brazil, but which she raises to high art on tracks like "Balanco," which is in turns lush, almost industrial, and ambient, while retaining the flavor of samba — no mean feat. More than any of the younger wave of Brazilian artists, she shows herself capable of mixing beats with the airy manner of bossa and samba in an utterly natural and unselfconscious manner. It finds a high point on her version of Caetano Veloso's "A Voz Do Morto," with drum and bass patterns and effects adding tension under mandolin and flute in the most delightful way, never getting bogged down, before exploding into her own "Sambadelic," with its Hendrix-type lead guitar that resolves itself as a samba, with her voice fluttering birdlike over the top. It's notable that, in addition to Veloso, she includes material from one of Brazil's other leading writers, Jorge Ben; indeed, her cover of "Zumbi" is almost a blueprint for the album, seamlessly melding beats, acoustic instruments, and subtle moods and textures. For all its transparency, however, Marquee does preserve a slight air of mystery about herself — who is she, and where did this talent come from? Ultimately, it really doesn't matter when the music's of this quality. Full marks to producers Apollo 9 and Mauricio Tagliari — who seem to have contributed a lot — for what they bring sonically. But the unifying vision appears to be Marquee's and, if she can continue with this standard and a similar sense of adventure, it's only a matter of a short time before she's one of Brazil's leading musical artists.


Born: 1978 in Brazil

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

b. c. 1978, Brazil. After working successfully if obscurely in multi-media theatrical events and low-budget independent films, Marquee began attracting attention as a singer-songwriter. At first, this fame too was only localized but gradually she became known to a much wider audience, in part through her role as lead singer with the Heart Breakers, a Brazilian salsa band. By the early 00s, she had become one of the more popular of the new generation of young Brazilian artists. Ably blending traditional...
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Zumbi, Andrea Marquee
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