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From the Inside Out

Postcards From Seven Summer Day Trips

By Published: September 13, 2004

Bebel Gilberto assumes this singer's rightful place in the direct line of Brazilian music royalty: Bebel is daughter to bossa nova founding father João Gilberto and stepdaughter to Astrud Gilberto, who breathed the timeless voice into "The Girl From Ipanema." Gilberto's wide-eyed wander through "Every Day You've Been Away" brings together two Brazilian musical dynasties, joining Gilberto with co-composer Daniel Jobim, grandson of Antonio Carlos.

Bebel proves an expert new interpreter of the classic Brazilian canon and weaver of her own intoxicating mystery and magic. "Aganjú" and "River Song" introduce modern Brazil to modern electronics, swelling then reducing the dynamic tension subtly and effectively. A real family affair, "Aganjú" was written by Bebel's cousin Carlinhos and features her mother Miucha on backing vocals.

There's a touch of Stevie Wonder soul from the harmonica in "Winter," and "After All" weaves soft threads from Sade and other island colors into the rhythm. ("I still believe that she (Sade) is the biggest influence I've ever had," Gilberto has confessed.)

But it's two ballads, co-written by the singer with producers Didi Gutman and Marius De Vries, that make Bebel so stunning: "Simplesmente" and the set's closer, "Next to You." Accompanying lyrics match the profound beauty of their simply built but no less gorgeous piano melodies, chords and of course vocals, opening "Next to You" with an autumn call to reflect upon this summer that was:

"So winter's come/ And summer's fall/ Time is just a whisper/ In a waterfall..."

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