Novos Baianos – Acabou Chorare
After not listening to any Brazilian music for almost 57 years, I’ve now listened to two albums in close succession, 49 years after they were released. That was unexpected.
To the extent I had any preconceptions, this is much more in line with those than “Clube da Esquina” turned out to be. I can imagine encountering these songs on a street corner, or a beach, or a tiny bar with a sweaty crowd of rowdy regulars. The title translates as “Stop Crying”, and the album is the band’s direct assault on what they saw as a far too glum Brazilian music scene. I can’t tell a samba from a bossa nova (I’ll work on that), but I do know when a band is having fun, and this record is a party. The top track for my ears is “Preta Pretinha”, which seems like a super sweet love song, and I’m going to trust my feelings on this one. Other favourites include “A Menina Danca”, “Besta e Tu” and “Tinindo Trincando”. The guitar work stands out (love the layered sound at the end of the title track), with a mix of acoustic picking and some crazy aggressive electric playing, and you can’t have danceable music without great percussion. The vocals are gentle and clean, and inviting.
This was voted the greatest Brazilian album ever by Rolling Stone’s panel in 2007. I can’t agree with that – it’s the second best Brazilian album I’ve heard, and I’ve only heard two. But it’s a fun listen that will have you swishing your hips from side to side and imagining sipping a Caipirinha on the beach. If that isn’t a worthy accomplishment, then nothing is.
(Originally posted on Facebook, August 8, 2021)