Helena's Azul is wonderfully laid-back bossa nova with subtle electronic touches and inventive arrangements. It sounds like a companion album to Bebel Gilberto's modern bossa nova classic Tanto Tempo. Helena's dusky and unaffected voice floats over the shuffling tempos like the voice of a Brazilian angel. The fact that she is French (as are all the musicians, including ace French producer Bertrand Burgalat) makes the record even more impressive. The songs are all quite nice and perfectly evoke and inspire a quiet late-night mood (Phillipe Katerine wrote the music, Helena the words). With any justice this record will be as hyped and as popular as the Gilberto record. It is just as good, if not better.