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Album Review

The tenth studio album by one of Brazil's most popular rock bands (more than 5,000,000 albums sold), Estandarte is Skank's first collaboration with producer Dudu Marote in more than a decade. Marote was responsible for the two albums that made Skank superstars in Brazil, Calango (1994) and O Samba Poconé (1996). However, Estandarte does not signal a return to the Brazilian reggae linings (clearly inspired by Os Paralamas do Sucesso) of the band's early years. Neither is it a continuation of the less commercially successful Brit-pop path chosen by the band for their last three albums, Cosmotron, Radiola, and Carrossel. Estandarte is, above all, a dance oriented album, one in which all the different genres Skank has experimented with are smoothly assimilated. An electro-disco/funk patina thus envelops the soul in "Pára-Raio," the hard rock in "Chão," the ballad in "Sutilmente," and the flirtation with electronica in "Saturação," or resolutely comes to the fore in "Escravo" and "Canção Aspera," two tracks that are very likely to rule over Brazilian dancehalls in the summer of 2009. Surprisingly, the first single, "Ainda Gosto Dela," written by the band's leader Samuel Rosa and influential songwriter/producer Nando Reis (one of his four contributions to Estandarte) is perhaps the least representative of the overall sound of the album. Who cares, for this irresistible perfect pop song, featuring guest vocalist Negra Li, is easily the album's most memorable song, one already on the way to becoming another monster hit for the always dependably fun Skank.


Formed: 1991

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Skank was formed in Belo Horizonte MG in 1991; they became one of the most popular bands in Brazil in the '90s. Mixing influences of pop music, reggae, ska, and rock & roll, the band reached the market with their first album, the independent Skank, which had the hit "Tanto" (a reggae version for Bob Dylan's "I Want You"). Their second release, Calango, had several hits, like "É Proibido Fumar" (Roberto Carlos/Erasmo Carlos), in the heart of the Jovem Guarda revival. Their fifth album, Maquinarama,...
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