What’s the biggest sporting event of the year you wonder? The world cup of course and to celebrate Studio Rio is releasing a compilation of classic tracks, which have been given a Brazilian twist. We had a listen and here are our thoughts.
First up is Bill Withers with Lovely Day and you are instantly hit by a blend of exotic rhythms. The samba version of Lovely Day seems to work and gives the song a completely different vibe.
Following this summery track is a bossa nova version of Aretha Franklin’s Walk On By. The track sounds nostalgic with its Brazilian influences but it works. From Aretha Franklin we move to Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing and we actually love how vibrant this version of the song is. Samba and Gaye are a match made in heaven. Sexual Healing sounds fresh and infectious and makes us want to hit the dancefloor.
Billie Holiday brings the mood down to a mellower level. You’ve Changed is filled with that nostalgic bossa nova sound, which we adore and can’t get enough of. There’s something insanely hot about Holiday’s vocals mixed with the sounds of the south.
There aren’t that many disappointing tracks on the album but there are. It’s Your Thing by The Isley Brothers is too powerful for the subtle sound of Samba and doesn’t really work for us.
Nina Simone’s voice will make any music sound wonderful and this includes Brazilian music. I Wish I Knew What It Means To Be Free is stunning as it is but with this twist it becomes a perfect summer track. Another track we love on this compilation is Take 5 from Dave Brubeck with Carmen Mcrae. We love the instrumental side to this track, which isn’t just background music but rather a layer of skin of the song.
Last but not least is the incredibly sexy song Summertime sung by Sarah Vaughan.
This blend of southern music instantly takes you miles away. If you seek escapism with a bit of familiarity then this is a great album We were skeptic but turns out Brazilian samba and bossa nova can pretty much revamp any track.