Tropicália ou Panis et CircencisAlbum | Various Artists By Stewart Mason
Protest music at its most lovely.
It's impossible to take seriously the pseudo-revolutionary posturing of so many late '60s rock musicians when one considers the Tropicália movement. Born in Rio following the 1964 coup that installed a right-wing military government in Brazil, Tropicália was subtle in its political pronouncements, preferring to make its larger point by fusing Brazil's native samba and bossa nova with British and American psychedelic rock, free jazz, and other exploratory styles. In the eyes of the Brazilian government, this was sedition: Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, the movement's guiding musicians, were jailed in 1968 and then spent several years in political exile. Gathering nearly all of the movement's key figures, this 1968 collaboration is Tropicália's definitive document, and one of the finest albums of its era. Featuring Veloso, Gil and key fellow travelers like the angel-voiced Gal Costa, dadaist rockers Os Mutantes and uncompromising songwriter Tom Zé, the album includes versions of many of the style's most famous song, including Veloso's politically charged but achingly lovely ballad "Baby" and Gil and Veloso's joyous "Bat Macumba." Arranger Rogerio Duprat, the Brian Wilson of Brazil, layers the album with strings and horns that if anything highlight the quirky time signatures and defiantly experimental structure of songs like "Panis et Circencis" and "Enquanto Seu Lobo Não Vem." The sheer musicality of Portuguese as a language combines with these quirky but undeniably beautiful songs to make Tropicália ou Panis et Circencis possibly the most tuneful protest album ever made.
|A Short Introduction To Tropicalia|