Brazilian Album Reviews

This is a listing of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "U"

If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
to contact me and make a suggestion.

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Ricardo Uchoa "Indra" (1981)
This independently released acoustic-meets-fusion folk-freak gem recalls the early works of Northeastern rockers such as Geraldo Azevedo and Ze Ramalho... It's dreamy and indulgent, and signals greater technical proficiency than the meandering performances suggest. Mostly a spacy folk vibe prevails, though on tracks like "Noites De Vento" he bursts out with a tropicalia-styled psychedelic rock riff, only to let it go after a minute or so... Certainly not for everybody, but if you like newer experimentalists such as Arnaldo Antunes and Lucas Santtana, you might dig this guy as well. Certainly a record that screams out for digital reissue.

Os Uirapurus "Os Uirapurus" (EMI-Odeon, 1968)

Umas E Outras "Poucas E Boas" (Polydor, 1970)
Innocent, goofy, psychedelia-laced sunshine pop with female vocals and tight harmony singing -- kind of like a slightly more adventurous version of Quarteto Em Cy. (Indeed, one of these three gals later went into the Em Cy group...) The album opens with a naifish homage to the Beatles, "Abrace Paul Mccartney Por Mim," filtering "Elanor Rigby" through the mildest of Claudine Longet-style pop; there's also a strong debt to the music-hall tendencies of Rita Lee and Os Mutantes, although this album is hardly as vigorous as anything Mutantes had done up to this date. Overall, I didn't find this record all that captivating, but it's still an interesting artifact of the times. Apparently they also did a lot of work on various film and television soundtracks, so you can keep your eyes open for them there as well...

Uniao Black "Uniao Black" (RCA, 1977)
(Produced by Roberto Livi & Pedro Da Luz)

One of the handful of Brazilian soul bands that really deliver the goods. Plenty of great, bouncy, heavy bass lines, straight out of KC & The Sunshine Band, or the O'Jays, but with a seriously funky undercurrent. Unlike many of their disco-ed out contemporaries, these guys really "got" it... The album does lapse into funky-jam tedium after a powerful start, but the level of playing is still far above most of the Black Rio bands, sexier and less jarring or hyperactive than, say, Banda Black Rio. Recommended!

Uniao Black "Banda Uniao Black" (Commonfolk, 2005)

Unscarabrown "Unscarabrown" (Tratore, 2004)

Urbanda "Urbanda" (Tratore, 2003)
Early work from singer Luisa Maita...

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