Review of Momento Album by Bebel Gilberto

Bebel Gilberto
Album Review

Bebel Gilberto Momento Album

I grew up listening only to music that I considered to have meaningful lyrics, and years ago I wouldn't have entertained anything that wasn't sung in an English (and preferably Northern) accent. It's strange though, that over time, your musical pallet changes, and I'm sure that each and every one of you now likes some form of music or band that that you hated as a child/youth. For me, as I got older, I moved away from my meaningful lyric trench, and went so far as to loving music from different countries, most notably 60's French pop and 90's Japanese pop.

This album is mainly sung in Portuguese, and I don't have a clue what most of the lyrics are about, but I absolutely love it! I find that when you don't understand the lyrics, you appreciate the voice as an instrument in itself, and Bebel's voice is a beautiful instrument, with its soft breathy ways, and backed by cool summer sounding latin jazz, you can't help but feel that winter has finally gone and warmer days are ahead. It's easy to file this album under easy listening, and for some, it would be considered coffee table music, but it can't be denied that these songs have been well crafted and are played by accomplished musicians. Bebel's voice is an absolute delight, whether in English or Portuguese. The tracks do have a retro 60's feel to them, but they have been given a modern edge and particularly on tracks such as 'Bring Back The Love' and 'Azul' they have a sound reminiscent of French band, Air. Whilst most of the tracks on this album have a smooth and laid back feel, there are some notable exceptions, such as 'Tranquilo' which has a real carnival feel to it, with a delightful uptempo brass introduction. I would say that this album will not appeal to everyone and is probably aimed at a niche market, but I would advise anyone to cast aside any pre-conceptions they have about world music and let Bebel Gilberto's beautiful voice win you over.

Gary Williams

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