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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Africa Brasil

Jorge Ben Jor

1976

Africa Brasil

Album Summary

África Brasil is a 1976 release by Brazilian artist Jorge Ben, recording at the time as Jorge Ben. It was Ben's 14th studio album. África Brasil represented a milestone in Ben's career with Ben's switch to electric guitar and incorporation of both Afro-Brazilian and African-American funk music styles into his sound. Known for its funkiness, África Brasil is one of Ben's best-known recordings. Rolling Stone Brazil listed it as one of the 100 best Brazilian albums in history, and it was included in both Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die as well as Tom Moon's collection 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.35

Votes

5799

Genres

  • Samba
  • Funk
Reviews
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View Author
Sun Feb 28 2021
4

“Africa Brasil” by Jorge Ben Jor (1976) Never heard this album nor this artist. But wow, welcome to my ignorance. The basic thrust of this album is the integration of western American and European) musical motifs into Brazilian urban samba. From the opening bars of "Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)", the listener might expect an American country rock ballad with instrumentation and chord structure like Creedence Clearwater Revival. But eight bars in, Brazil steps up with lead and background vocals. Track two is funk Hermetica. Sounds like a Sly and the Family Stone take on 2nd century B.C. Egyptian mysticism. Apparently Jorge Ben Jor had earlier devoted an entire album on this theme (“A Tábua de Esmeralda” (1974)). Worth exploring if you’re into that sort of thing (as, obviously, I am). Listen to the first few bars of "O Filósofo" (1976) and the opening bars of “I’ll Take You There“ (1972) by The Staples Sisters and you’ll see what’s going on here. Personally, I think a little appropriation is cool. "Meus Filhos, Meu Tesouro" is a celebration of his three children (“My Children, My Treasure”). Great sound and sweet lyric. "O Plebeu" gives us a happy tragedy of the collision between poverty and affection, as the penniless poet joyfully resigns himself to the fact that his love for a rich girl must remain unrequited. Interesting take on a classic theme. ‘Xica da Silva” tells real-life story of a wealthy 18th century Brazilian woman welcomed in the royal court, but excluded from her parish church because she was a black former slave. According to Wikipedia, “Xica was banished from the parish church, which was reserved for Caucasians only. To show the locals Xica’s power, [the white nobleman] João Fernandes built a luxurious church attended just by herself.” The song celebrates this act of trans-racial loyalty, and thus becomes a protest against racial exclusivity among social elites. Powerful. Compare the happy autobiographical reflections of a child who was ‘different’ in Jorge Ben Jon’s "A História de Jorge" (1976) with the tragic autobiographical reflections of a child who was ‘different’ in Juanes’ "La Historia de Juan" (2002). Fascinating. However, the most powerful track on the album is the title track, "África Brasil (Zumbi)". We’re treated to angry, driving rhythms and chord structure, with suitable vocal tone. According to Joel Sattler, “Zumbi was the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares runaway slave refugee colony in Alagoas, Brazil that also harbored fugitives and deserters. Born a free man in 1655, captured and sold into slavery at the age of six, baptized by his missionary owner, he learned Portuguese and Latin and the Bible. Escaping at 15, he returned home and became a military leader and renowned warrior. When the local governor offered freedom to the colony, Zumbi distrusted the Portuguese and refused to accept the offer while other Africans remained enslaved. He took over leadership of the quilombo and ruled for 15 years until the Portuguese military destroyed the central settlement of Cerca do Macaco with an artillery assault. The colony fell, Zumbi went to ground and led a rebellion for two years, evading capture until betrayed by one of his followers. He was beheaded by the Paulistas, and his head taken to Recife and displayed as a warning to all other slaves. The date of his execution, November 20 1695, has become the equivalent of our Martin Luther King Day.... https://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewpoetry.asp?id=279469 Brazilian rock. This album teaches and connects. Very nice. 4/5 Bonus connection for those familiar with Juanes: Joga bola, jogador Joga bola, corocondô Joga bola, jogador Joga bola, corocondô (from "Ponta de Lança Africano” by Jorge Ben Jor (1976)) Yo te doy todo mi amor Luna de mi corazón Yo te doy todo mi amor Si tú me lo cuentas todo (from “Luna” by Juanes (2002))

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Fri Sep 17 2021
3

Overwhelmingly reminded me of music from the Sims. But I did quite enjoy it. Very fun

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

Three albums ago I wondered whether we'd get any Jorge Ben Jor...and here we are! Not his best work in my estimation, but still five stars because it's Jorge Ben in his pomp. A lovely mix of tropicalia and funk, plus he has one of my favourite voices in popular music. Nothing here quite touches the greatness of 'Mas Que Nada', 'Take It Easy My Brother Charles' or 'Pais Tropical', but this is a remarkably cohesive collection with some spiky guitar work and insistent, rolling rhythms. So, so good. Oh, and Rod Stewart ripped off 'Taj Mahal' but made it far worse.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
3

A fun week of albums continues! This is the first non-English album I have received on this list and comes from a genre I know absolutely nothing about; however, I enjoyed this one a lot for what it is and more than I initially thought I would. The production and instrumentals are great with many unique sounds coming together in a catchy, cohesive manner. It feels like a mix between traditional Brazilian/South American music and Rolling Stones-like blues rock with its prevalent bass and electric guitars standing out in the mix. Although I cannot speak to the lyrics, I found Jorge's vocals to be strong and elevate the energy of the tracks throughout the record. The main reason I cannot rate this higher is that I have no idea how this compares to the rest of his work or the overall style of his music. If there were specific songs that stood out as being amazing, I would be very impressed given my lack of knowledge of the genre, but the songs blend together in a way that makes it difficult to differentiate between tracks at some points. With that being said, I enjoyed this one more than a lot of albums I have received so far and would throw it on as background music again. 3/5.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
3

Aujourd'hui était un jour particulier, puisque nous fêtions l'anniversaire du générateur. En effet, vous n'êtes pas sans savoir qu'il y a de cela tout juste un an, je débutais cette aventure générateurienne avant d'être très vite rejoint par mon envieux camarade d'écoute, le désormais très célèbre robpaupière. A cette occasion, nous avons mis les petits plats dans les grands, en décidant de signer un pacte de non aggression, afin de pouvoir célébrer cet événement comme il se doit. Le projet était le suivant: nous devions débuter la soirée d'anniversaire par quelques biscuits et boissons, afin de nous ammener vers le vrai climax de la soirée. En effet, à 23h55, nous avions prévu de nous cacher derrière les meubles du salon, car à minuit pile, Robert devait faire irruption dans la maison pour nous dévoiler notre album du jour, l'album cadeau d'anniversaire. La soirée débutait sur de très bonnes bases, rob et moi-même choisissant chacun notre tour une chanson à jouer sur l'enceinte disposée au milieu de la pièce, afin de respecter notre quota musical respectif. Aucun débordement ne fût à déplorer, si ce n'est une petite prise de bec sur la place de la trip-hop dans l'histoire de la musique, sans conséquence fort heureusement. Mais au fond de nous, ce que nous attendions réellement, c'était les douze coups de minuit, pour découvrir cet album anniversaire concocté par Robert. Il se murmurait d'ailleurs que l'album devrait être l'un des albums de Nirvana présent dans le générateur, que nous n'avons pour l'instant pas eu la chance d'écouter. Soudain, c'était l'heure. Je courrais me cacher derrière la bibliothèque du salon, pendant que rob peinait à dissimuler son imposant corps grassouillet derrière le canapé. La porte s'entrouvit doucement, et les premières notes de musiques retentirent, précédent un Robert vêtu de ses plus beaux habits. Et la, ce fut la stupéfaction. Les premières notes très latino crachées par Robert laissèrent bientôt place à la voix de Jorge Ben Jor, qui se mit à baragouiner dans un brésilien incompréhensible. Ce n'était absolument pas Nirvana à qui nous avions affaire. Notre déception se lisait sur notre visage, et les explications de Robert sur l'impact de Jorge Ben Jor sur la samba rock ne suffirent jamais à rattraper cet anniversaire gâché. Rob ne réussit d'ailleurs pas à retenir ses larmes, et partit s'enfermer dans sa chambre.

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Mon Oct 26 2020
5

I loved this album. Had no idea what the lyrics said, but who cares?

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

bom mas não o melhor do ben jor

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Fantastic album! Amazing instrumentation, and amazing vocals. Can't give criticism to the lyricism because I dont speak portuguese but damn what an amazing album

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Fri May 07 2021
5

What a funky groove. These guitar riffs are great. The variety of each track is amazing, and the energy never dips.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

The 1001 Albums series often gets (warranted) flack for its lackluster selection of 'World Music' in it's catalog, but they certainly know to include the absolute essentials when push comes to shove. "África Brasil" is a masterclass in rhythm and performance, with secretive but long-lasting influence that can still be felt today. Even for any listeners wary of any language barrier with music, Jorge Ben Jor makes music that anybody can immediately understand and groove along with.

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Amazing. One of the best discoveries from this list so far. Funky and danceable with African rhythms and melodies commingling with Latin rhythms and touches of soul. He’s a great, charismatic singer. His vocals on “Xica Da Silva” are awesome. Really catchy song. The music is crazy fun. It’s also complex at times. On “Cavaleiro Do Cavolo Imaculado,” there’s an interesting guitar part that comes in around 2:10. It feels detached from the melody and adds a cool layer of tension and contrast. Definitely an album where every track is strong but these ones particularly stood out to me: “Ponta De Lança Africano,” “Xica Da Silva,” “Cavaleiro Do Cavolo Imaculado,” “África Brasil (Zumbi)” (wow - this one really rocks)

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Mon Dec 07 2020
4

Insanely funky album. The arrangements, perhaps, are a bit samey. But the instrumentation is consistently interesting and I find Ben's voice magnetic. The energy oozes from every minute, though there are certainly peaks.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

I was really surprised by how much I liked this album. I also noticed the song Taj Mahal was very close to Da ya think I'm sexy by Rod Stewart. As it turns out Rod Stewart lost a copyright infringement lawsuit over the similarities.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Lovedddd new dinner party album

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Great! But the problem with stuff you're not familiar with is you don't actually know if it's good or not! Is this the best Brasil record, or does it sound the same as the rest?!

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

So much funk here, a little bit of Sly, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield, but based around Samba? It works really well, with the interwoven percussion, guitar work, warm vocals and funky bass lines providing an extremely enjoyable record. I can hear a lot of influence on David Byrne here.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Loved the breezy 70s laid-back jazz funk and beautiful Brazilian melodies and female backing singers. 1st track is very cool, pity there wasn't anything else solar in a slightly more edgy rock style.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

This got me dancing in the kitchen.

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Mon May 23 2022
4

Starts every song at full throttle, then makes them go harder, through a combination of surprise breaks, ecstatic vocals, the push-pull of formless scatting and ultra precise tightness, and introductions of new rhythms and melodies that are like intriguing subplots.

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Its not as good as A Tábua de Esmeralda or Força Bruta, but still a damn good and classic Jorge Ben album. closer to a 4.5

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Sun Jul 18 2021
5

Afrobeat Brazilian ftw

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Wed Jun 30 2021
5

Loved this album. Funky world music.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Phenomenal. Multiple listens in store for this one.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

i liked it more than i thought i would, the music is fun and light. easy listening

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Great great vibes

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

5/5

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Best find of this process so far, loved this from the moment i heard it.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

I love this but i don't know what he's saying. Absolutely fantastic album, i was jammin

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Sat Mar 06 2021
5

All day, all day

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

ICON

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

Awesome. Great music with lota of life and personality. Just what i needed.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Wątpię, czy będę obsłuchiwać jak głupia, ale to było fajne

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Mon May 24 2021
5

extrem starke Album! Einige Klassiker dabei, u.a. Umbabarauma :)

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Love this. Reminds me a bit of Fela. Great drummer.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Groovy and a little bit gnarly. Yes I am IN TO this. Party funk rock! (I am also a sucker for a nice cuica)

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

This is great! But it had to be with a title like that.. First album i've downloaded so far.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

Really good, lively and well made. If you’re the best in brazil you know you have something going on

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

In a vein next to Seu Jorge and ACJ. A very good vein

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

Samba brasileña muy animada. Venga, le pongo un 5.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
5

This is the kind of thing I came here for. It wouldn't occur to me to seek this kind of music out and, even if I did, I wouldn't know where to start. And how else would I find out that Rod Stewart got sued for stealing the melody for "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"? Lots of fun.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

365 DAYS!!!!! And couldn't have landed on a better album for it. SAMBA FUNK. So much fun. You could play O Plebeu on repeat and just strut around town for probably 12 hours straight with out even a drink of water or muslie bar. Plus the drum fills in that song are absolute perfection. Also so happy that my 365th featured the Cuica so heavily, it's fast becoming my new favourite instrument, look out ride cymbal. Anyway just so stoked with this whole process at the one year mark, have discovered so so many five star albums. Looking forward to the next two and a bit years.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

Álbum que representa o há de mais brasileiro na musica nacional.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

Incredible brazilian album

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

great album. could listen to this album over and over again.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
5

Even nowadays when you go to samba-funk bars in Brazil you might hear some songs from this album.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

Makes me wish I understood what he was singing about, but even that isn't necessary to enjoy the funk.

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

Relentlessly fun interesting album that sounds timeless - there is no fat here - every note and rhythm has its place and even after repeated listens it never gets boring.

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Sun Apr 17 2022
5

Fun and refreshing. Lots of cool instruments making cool sounds. Reminds me how much fun this kind of music. Definitely will check this out again.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

Porra, bom pa caralho.

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Tue May 03 2022
5

Theres a lot of bangers on here

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Wed May 04 2022
5

I really loved this. Great voice, funky, groovy. An easy 5/5 for me. Added to my library immediately!

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Sat May 07 2022
5

barabaradumba

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Tue May 10 2022
5

Love. This. Album.

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Wed May 18 2022
5

besto disco. Ponta, historia do Jorge,meus filhos 10/10

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Wed May 25 2022
5

This album is an excellent example of how adventurous Brazilian musicians are and how open they are to fusing musical styles. This is a real treat.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
5

2º melhor álbum do Jorge Ben. Uma experiência muito boa ouvir em sequência. Com vários clássicos dele. Melhores músicas: Taj Mahal, Xica da Silva e Ponta de Lança Africano

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

I absolutely love this

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

what a vibe! you can hear the influence of later artists in the work. really digging the sound of these 70s albums.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
5

Loved it

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Excellent salsa vibes

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Great album

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Wed Oct 05 2022
5

rnr

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Sun Oct 16 2022
5

Sometimes funky, sometimes melancholic, sometimes rocking. Always elegant. I truly become a fan of Brazilian music.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

this was great! no idea about the lyrics, but everything else was genuinely excellent

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Jorge come over and let’s have a dance party in my living room.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

👏 I 👏 am 👏 here 👏 for 👏 world 👏 music 👏

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

Me encantó

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

Best one so far.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
5

The cuíca is a type of friction drum where the pitch is changed by adjusting the tension on the head of the drum. It has a high pitched squeaky sound and is often compared to a laughing monkey. This instrument is ubiquitous in samba music and is featured heavily on this album. It's sound is unique and instantly recognizable, so keep an ear out for the cuíca player on here! Overall, a great assortment of songs, that instantly invoke the feeling of chilling out around Lapa, drowning in caipirinhas while having not a care in the world. 5 Taj Mahals out of 5 🕌🕌🕌🕌🕌

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Thu Jan 19 2023
5

This was incredible. Never heard of this artist before but I enjoyed this a lot. Upbeat Brazilian songs with incredible rhythms and sounds. Thought Taj Mahal sounded a little familiar and lo and behold it turns out Rod Stewart ripped it off. Anyway, good job, list, for introducing this to me.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

This one was great! I had never heard of either the artist or the album. I was a bit leery going in when I noticed it was in a language I didn't speak. Once I started listening, I loved it! I added it to my music library in Apple Music. I would've never found this album if not for this project.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

This album is pretty fun… I like it!

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Wed May 19 2021
4

This was a fun album, but not the greatest for sitting at a desk at work. Also wish I knew the name of that whooping instrument in the back of some tracks

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Sat Nov 21 2020
4

-Really dig this right off the bat with Ponta De Lanco Africano -The songs are so long but I really enjoy it! -O Plebeu is also a favorite--it went into my beach playlist

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Wed Jan 06 2021
4

Jazzy, infectious rhythms

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Très sympa. Ca met de bonne humeur.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Interesting. Has some fun rhythm

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Give me more!!

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

so funky cool

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

oh boy I love this FUNK. that electric guitar fits so well. mmm these percussion sounds

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

Funky!

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Pretty alright. I can get on board with Afro-Brazilian samba funk pop.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Fun music with great melodies and groove to spare.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Really good. Easy listening. I enjoyed it.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Pretty funky

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Fantastic, funky, infectiously groovy and a lot of fun even with the language barrier. Also, copious use of friction drums! Fave track - "Taj Mahal" - can't really blame Rod Stewart for ripping off that great melody!

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Bro he speaking facts

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Prima!

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Production: 15/20 Songwriting: 16/20 Innovation: 15/20 Bangers: 15/20 Emotional response: 16/20 =77 Cracking stuff this

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

Love this guy

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Groovy

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Tue Mar 16 2021
4

Not sure what exactly to call this? Love the groove tho

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

This album was a bit of a revelation to me. Celebratory, brimming with ideas. It was like a window into a whole new realm of music. Favourite track: Africa Brasil (Zumbi)

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

good album

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Sat Apr 24 2021
4

Invigorating and fun!

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Mon May 10 2021
4

i thought it was good even though i can't understand the words. i particularly like o plebeu

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Mon May 10 2021
4

very fun and progressive

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Listened to 5/6/21

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

Hot album with hot tunes got me jammin world wide. I don’t understand the lyrics but the music was beautiful and I want to be in brasil ayyy Top tracks : Africa brasil, Taj Mahal, historia de jorge

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Sun Jul 11 2021
4

Good fun. I have a soft spot for brazillian music, and this tickled it.

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