This is a listing of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "P"
If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
to contact me and make a suggestion.
Zeca Pagodinho - see artist discography
Ione Papas "Noel Por Ione" (Dabliu, 2000)
A solid modern tribute to Noel Rosa, one of the great early songwriters of the classic samba cancao era of the Great Depression. Papas glides atop sleek, bright, catchy MPB arrangements, reminiscent (and on a par with) the best work by Gal Costa and Elis Regina. The cover art's a bit "blah," but the record's certainly worth checking out!
Dreamy, jangly indie-pop from this Sao Paulo-based band... Singing mostly in English (with the exception of one song, titled "1978"), these guys flawlessly emulate their models, namely the mopey, wistful '80s British twee-poppers of the Sarah label variety, and numerous lo-fi janglecore bands from the USA... They have the sound down to a "T", though if you know what to listen for, you can pick out their cute Brazilian accents and doubtless find it quite charming. Personally, I wish they'd sung more numbers in Portuguese, 'cuz I like that sort of thing from "foreign" bands, but it's still cool to find such a competent indie band coming out of Brazil... There are precious few, as far as I can tell... If you like cute, introspective guitar-pop bands with mopey, solipsistic lyrics -- indeed, any other bands on the Matinee label -- then check these guys out. They know what they're doing.
The first album by one of the best bands of the 1980s BRock movement. This is brisk, cheerfully dorky, ska-flavored New Wave/New Romantic pop, not unlike Southern California's Oingo Boingo or other early '80s MTV bands. The bespectacled Herbert Vianna was the band's principal songwriter -- here he also co-writes a tune or two, including one with Renato Russo of the equally well-known Legiao Urbana, and covers one of Russo's bounciest pop-punk anthems, "Quimica." Os Paralamas sounded pretty up to date with what was happening in the UK and US, and their stylistic range is impressive, even if they occasionally try a trick or two that may have been ill-advised (mostly cheesy guitar solos or flowery key changes...) I never really liked this kind of music that much when I heard it in English, but it is interesting to know that there were bands that also sounded like this in Brazil, and that some of these bands did it so well. This album is a little rough compared to the ones that followed, but it's still a landmark in Brazilian rock.
Os Paralamas Do Sucesso "O Passo Do Lui" (EMI, 1984)
Their second album makes an impressive leap into subtler performances and richer, more nuanced production. The ska and dub elements are still at play, with perhaps a touch of The Police and The Specials becoming apparent. Herbert Vianna is still the principal songwriter, and the vocals are much richer and more cleanly mixed than on their debut. Fusion saxophonist Leo Gandleman guests, as does rocker Lulu Santos (who sings harmony on one of his own songs); Vinicius Cantuaria is also thanked in the liber notes, although I don't think he plays on the album. Again, this style of music wasn't my cup of tea back in the '80s when it was new, but it's kinda cool to hear it being played by someone in Brazil, and this album is definitely more interesting than the first one was. Worth checking out!
Wow... talk about leaps and bounds! This disc opens with a rousing West African-styled world beat dance gem, "Alagados," a sound that was briefly hinted at on their previous album, followed by several pop-reggae numbers, all of which sound pretty convincing. This time around, they are produced by the ubiquitous ex-Mutante, Liminha, whose work with Gilberto Gil around the same time was utterly disasterous. Here, though, he simply smooths things out, providing a helpful pop feel... Mainly, though, the band is the driving force -- they're growing more confident and more relaxed with each album, yet it's still fresh to them, and it feels like they're having fun finding their artistic voice. A very dubby, reggaed-out album, and very nice. Recommended.
Competently produced modern rock, with a strong ska background. They go through a wide variety of styles -- the straight-ahead ska is fun, the more thudding guitar rock, less so. Somewhere also in the mix is a richly layered alt-y sound, and a bit of reggae and rap. This is a little too mainstream for my tastes, but if you're looking for a nice example of the best Brazilian rock, this is a pretty good choice. I think that this was their tenth album...
A solid, slick modern ska-rock set, recorded live at the 1987 Montreaux Jazz Festival. Didn't completely float my boat, but they were definitely a sharper, more capable and more credible modern rock band than many of their Brazilian contemporaries, and this performances certainly captured them at their best. Worth checking out.
Another nice album from this capable modern rock band. They go through a wide variety of styles, with catchy melodic hooks thoughout. Some songs are fairly facile, while others have very sophisticated production and creative sound design, courtesy of Chico Neves. The distorted violin on "Scream Poetry," in particular, is kind of interesting. Again, not entirely my cup of tea, but if you want to check out the BRock sound, this is a fine, inoffensive album.
One of Brazil's best-known modern rock bands does the "MTV acoustic" bit, with all the usual stylistic fudging and corner-cutting that entails. A cheerful mix of ska and bar-band blues, with bouncy horn arrangements throughout. It didn't bowl me over, but I also didn't find irritating. (If I was more familiar with the original studio versions of these songs, I'm sure I might find it more fascinating... as it was it was definitely worth checking out. I'm sure longtime fans will be pleased.)
Hermeto Pascoal - see artist discography
Rosa Passos - see artist discography
Pato Fu "Rotomusic De Liquidicapfum" (Cogumelo, 1993)
This alternative rock band hailing from the Minas Gerais has often been compared to Os Mutantes, and rightly so. On the surface, there's the matter of their lineup, which -- much like Mutantes -- was originally a trio consisting of two brothers (John and Ricardo Koctus) and a charismatic, carefree female singer (Fernanda Takai). More to the point is their freewheeling, mix'n'match musical approach, which gleefully (and somewhat self-consciously) careens from style to style. But where Os Mutantes melded hippie-era acid rock, boogie blues and prog with avantnik kitsch, Pato Fu hail from the MTV generation, with a palette that includes pop-punk, speedmetal-tinged alt-rock, ska, rap and disco-y electronica. In many ways, their ultra-diverse approach is too wanky and overly-obvious, but it's still kinda cool, and certainly more interesting than the more leaden, derivative heavy rock style of the BRockers of the 1980s. The restless, start-and-stop, ping-ponging between styles makes this disc a little dull, at least for those of us who want to hear a good pop song or two, but it certainly reveals a band that has a strong creative spirit. This album is more "out there" than their later work on BMG, an approach that has its plusses and minuses.
Their third album -- and their second for a major label -- shows Pato Fu still quite indulgent and knowingly clever, but also more willing to latch onto a strong melodic hook, and ride it all the way through -- they're getting more pop, and that's a good thing Finally, there are some songs that I'd want to listen to, from start to finish, and maybe even more than once. There's also plenty of wanky stuff that's theoretically entertaining, but not really that much fun to listen to... Still, this is interesting stuff, certainly worth checking out if you're interested in hearing what's been going on in the modern Brazilian rock scene...
This is a much more conventional, commercial alt-rock offering, with straightforward pop-punk and glossy pop tunes. It's doubtful I would listen to this disc if it were made by an American or British band, but hearing it from a Brazilian act is a little novel. This is a slick, controlled modern rock record, but it's also pretty easy on the ears. They've also relented and let Takai more of less take over as the lead vocalist, which is a fine decision, since she has a nice, friendly voice. There are still a few willfully irritating tunes, but overall this is a pretty accessible pop album. If you wanted a Pato Fu album you could actually sit down and listen to, this might be a good place to start.
Pato Fu "Isopor" (BMG-Plug, 1999)
Pato Fu "Ruido Rosa" (BMG, 2001)
Pato Fu "MTV Ao Vivo No Museu De Arte Da Pampulha" (BMG-Plug, 2002)
Pato Fu "Todo Cura De Toda Mal" (Sony, 2005)
Pato Fu "Arquivo Essencial (Box Set)" (BMG-Plug, 2004)
This simply-packaged set includes straight reissues of Pato Fu's first three albums for BMG Records: Gol de Quem, from 1995, 1996's Tem Mas Acabou, and Televisao de Cachorro, from 1998. No bonus tracks or extra goodies, but a nice way to check the band out. (All three albums are reviewed above.)
Pato Fu "Focus: O Essencial De Pato Fu" (BMG, 2001)
Samba composer Argemiro Patrocinio, an elder member of the Portela samba school's velha guarda, is celebrated and spotlighted on this beautiful, reverential album, which features affectionate contributions by MPB and samba stars such as Zeca Pagodinho, Jaques Morelenbaum, and Moreno Veloso. Pop star Marisa Monte is the driving force behind this project, but while she bankrolled the record, Monte remains in the background, singing on only a couple of songs, content merely to document, not to dominate. All the songs were written or co-written by Argemiro over his decades-long career, and are performed with a delicious, delicate delivery, marked by lovely instrumental efforts which perfectly frame his gentle, soulful vocals. A lovely record; if you enjoyed the Velha Guarda da Portela album that came out a couple of years earlier (reviewed below), then you should definitely track this one down as well.
On old-fashioned jazz-fusion group, featuring bassist Rodolfo Stroeder and vocalist Marlui Miranda. Sounds a LOT like old Chick Corea, Return To Forever, etc. Distinctively Brazilian elements include compositions based on indigenous tribal music -- a theme which is explored better on Miranda's solo albums. My aversion to the soprano saxophone is one of the reasons I found this hard to get into.
Pedro Paulo "Apresenta Os Sucessos, v.2" (Columbia/OKeh, 1970)
Soft rocker Pedro Paulo kind of picked up where Roberto Carlos left off -- as Carlos drifted towards his iconic status as a spanish-language crooner, Paulo kept singing old-fashioned teenybopper pop tunes. Considering when these albums actually came out, they were hopelessly out of fashion, but if you just take them for what they are and compare them to Carlos's rather similar releases from 1962-66, Paulo's work holds up pretty well. He was more consistently uptempo and "rocking" than Carlos, and recorded fewer American pop covers. On the second album, he gets a little more modern, opening the disc with "Maria Helena," a funky original by Brazilian soul singer, Hyldon Souza. Yeah, sure, it's mainly pretty wimpy stuff, but for the JG scene, this ain't bad. (Reissued in 1999 as a 2-CD set.)
Pavilhao 9 "Se Deus Vier, Que Venha Armado" (Paradoxx, 1999)
This Sao Paulo-based rock-rap group has a kind of Beastie Boys vibe to it, by way of Bob Marley and Fugazi. This album is slick, but good... very good. Nice production with Hendrix-y guitars, moderate amounts of turntable scratching and a strong, steady groove throughout. Definitely worth checking out.
Brazilian Music - Letter "P"
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