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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

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Sonantes
Sonantes
Six Degrees

By Doug Merlino

Published July 22, 2008

This gem of an album proves once again that for the moment, São Paulo must be one of the world’s most fertile places for making music. A collaboration between the singer CéU and members of the groups Nação Zumbi and Instituto, the album also features a cross-section of guest stars, including Pernambuco-born Siba and new-jack producer Apollo 9. The songs themselves are totally fresh—an atmospheric mixture of bossa nova moods, surf guitar, synthesizer blips, samba, double bass and rock drums, with CéU’s sinuous voice floating throughout to great effect. She stands out on tunes like “Defenestrando,” with its swirling mélange of twangy guitar, stuttering ride cymbal rhythms and analog synthesizers, while “Mambobit” finds her wafting in on a breezy ba-ba-ba refrain—the lost theme song to a 1960s Brazilian game show. Created by fun-loving musicians out for a good time, Sonantes lives up to its all-star potential, and then some.

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