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Contos de Mar

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Album Review

Mário Gil could be struggling furiously for success, but he preferred to find his own path, following his inner voice. In his debut album, sensitive melodies are delivered in delicate drum-less renditions through violões (Brazilian acoustic guitar), bass, flute, and a very discrete use of keyboards. Discrete and subtle percussion punctuates an album dedicated to the sea, much in the way consecrated by Dorival Caymmi, which is not to imply any lack of originality. The lyrics are all by the late giant Paulo César Pinheiro, reconstructing the imagery connected with the universe of sailors, sensuality, sea, and slaves. The inexpensive production competed with the purity and intrinsic strength of the songs themselves, with the quite thrilling, crystalline voice of Mônica Salmaso in "Rainha do Mar" (a song that evidences some unsuspected Pink Floyd influences amidst the samba de roda, cantigas, and other Brazilian and, more specifically, Bahian rhythms that populate the album) dispensing any tricks. Gil is more a composer than a singer, but he is correct in the role. Renato Braz in another special appearance also contributes to add a Milton Nascimento-inspired expressivity to the already excellent release.

Contos de Mar, Mario Gil
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