Arnaldo Antunes/Carlinhos Brown/Marisa Monte: TribalistasBy
Their latest venture is somewhat less successful - given the hype about "secret" recording sessions, supposed overt connections with the Tropicália movement of the late 1960s (which was characterized by high-flown intellectualism and social protest, among other things), and the usual media frenzy accompanying Monte's work, that's a given - or is it? Much depends on your ability to see past myriad banner headlines and over-the-top accolades.
So here's what the album is (to me, at least): well-crafted pop, tailor-made for the dance floor. And here's what it isn't : an ideological manifesto (like Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis ), as some believe. Arnaldo Antunes' lyrics are one of this disc's greatest pleasures - he's an outstanding poet, and it shows. Though the mood is often celebratory (love, Carnaval, parading with your samba school), there's a persistent melancholy undertone that would do an existentialist proud. For example:
Lay on my breast and devour me
In life all that is left is to go on
A risk, a step, a gesture down the river
Love is ugly
it looks like addiction
it walks the highway
free of obligation
Although a few of the cuts are downright silly, they may well be conscious emulations of some of the barmier songs recorded by the Tropicalistas. But enough '60s nostalgia - Tribalistas is both in (and of) the moment, and it's a pretty hopeful summation at that.
Visit the Tribalistas web site.
(Translations by Arto Lindsay, courtesy of Metro Blue Records.)
Arnaldo Antunes, vocals, apito de samba, handclaps; Carlinhos Brown, vocals, berimbau, pandeiro, cuica, reco-reco, caxixi, repique, caixa, zarb, timba, moringa, surdo, agogo, cajon, djembe, congas, plastic bucket, cymbals, electronic percussion pad/samples, afoxe, shakers, toy piano, handbell, music box, apito de samba, glockenspiel, bass, vibraphone, sampling, Hammond keyboard, nylon and steel-string acoutic guitars, electric guitar, handclaps, baixol
Title: Tribalistas | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Metro Blue