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Tropicalbacanal (Deluxxxe Version)

Bonde do Rolê

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Album Review

Just in the nick of time for summer, though a long five years since the gutter-bounce sugar rush of their debut, Brazilian party people Bonde do Rolê are back with Tropicalbacanal, an album that, just as its title promises, is pretty much one big, decadent, equatorial dance party. Things have shifted a bit: there's not nearly as much shlocky, hair metal guitar riffage this time out, and while there's still plenty of the band's signature, deliriously cheap-sounding baile funk beats, as well as several distinct flavors of samba, there are also traces of everything from zydeco and soca (both at once, in fact, on the inexplicably titled "Kanye") to dancehall, Afro-pop, slide guitar blues, and even hardcore punk (thanks to an appearance by Australia-via-Baltimore thrashers the Death Set.) It's quite a cocktail, made even more hectic by a stacked guest list that also features Das Racist, U.K. hip-hoppers Rizzle Kicks, ragga/dancehall MVP Ce'cile (who turns up for a boisterous flip on Jay-Z's "Girls Girls Girls" hook that somehow manages to include the word "fisticuffs"), and, impressively, Tropicalia godhead Caetano Veloso, whose breezily infectious "Baby Don't Deny It" marks an atypically G-rated moment for this crew. With all the helping hands on board — production duties were handled by Diplo and Poolside's Filip Nikolic, with assists from Mumdance, Boyz Noise, Switch, and Schlachthofbronx, making this a veritable summit session of rowdy, pan-globally-inclined dance producers — it's hard to say who, exactly, deserves credit for Tropicalbacanal's success. (At some moments it feels more like a Brazilian incarnation of Diplo's Major Lazer project than a recognizable follow-up to With Lasers.) Then again, Bonde do Rolê have always been essentially pastiche artists — or, to put it in less brainy, more fitting terms, they just cram together whatever is fun, corny, idiotic, and over the top — and their goofy, debaucherous energy remains unmistakable. That's despite the absence of departed frontwoman Marina Vello, whose shoes (and/or animal-print leggings) are ably filled here by Laura Taylor, who flips between English and Portuguese (although she should probably think of a better name). Indeed, some of the best cuts here are those without guest vocal support, like the peppy electro-samba "Pucko," with its irresistibly chirpy flutes, and the very silly "Banana Woman," whose lyrics could either be complete nonsense or utter filth — or, more likely, both. While it's clear that a good deal more time and effort went into the making this album (which is actually even shorter than its predecessor, at just shy of a half-hour), you can rest assured that Bonde do Rolê remain as deliriously, blissfully frivolous as ever. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi


Formed: Curitiba, Parná, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Pumping out bass-heavy dance beats laced with unlikely samples and paired with goofy but salacious raps, Bonde do Rolê are one of the first acts on Brazil's funk carioca (or baile funk) scene to gain an international audience. Consisting of lead MC Marina Ribatski, MC and producer Pedro D'eyrot, and DJ and producer Rodrigo Gorky, Bonde do Rolê offer up a willfully warped variation on funk carioca, merging their beats with odd but obvious samples from the likes of Alice in Chains and Tone-Loc while...
Full Bio
Tropicalbacanal (Deluxxxe Version), Bonde do Rolê
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