Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gilberto Gil – Gilberto Gil 1969 - (Isle of Wight 1970)

It's not only ironic that the record with Gilberto Gil's first major hit ("Aquele Abraço") is also his most experimental album; it also speaks to the diversity of Brazil's emerging pop superstar. Beginning with the loose-jointed groove-pop of "Cérebro Eletrónico" (the album's subtitle), this second of three straight self-titled LPs includes a few Carnival-styled pop songs, as on his previous album. Most of the experimentation comes at the end of side two with "2001" and "Objeto Semi-Identificado," both of which are filled with odd tape-music portions, spoken-word elements, and a reliance on studio trickery rarely seen on any Western pop albums. Even the pop songs are produced with an eye toward noise; the tropicalia anthem "Volks Volkswagen Blue" features a few psychedelic guitar lines breaking into distortion, and a small but devastatingly brassy horn section punctuating the melody. It's a very disjointed album, not quite as consistently entertaining as last year's entry, but definitely a masterpiece of forward-looking pop. AMG.

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