Monday, August 24, 2009

AOTW: Legião Urbana - Dois

This is Legião Urbana's Dois, the second album from the Brazilian band from Brasilia. I've been listening to this in the same playlist as the Chills' Submarine Bells, and realised something fairly obvious: music from the same era can sometimes sound similar. They also sound a bit like the Smiths, a bit Cure, even a bit Indochine and probably a few more bands I don't know as much about. I first heard of them about 4 years ago, when Tempo Perdido seemed to be playing quite often. I fell in love with the song, it was a different sound for me, and now that I think about it, I hadn't knowingly heard a Smiths song yet. I had left it at that but the next time I was in Brazil, I investigated a bit more and got this album.
I thought Steenbeck was brave to do a Hip Hop album a couple of weeks ago, and I was inspired to go with a non-English speaking band. However, samba this is not, the music shouldn't sound that foreign to you. Brazil has produced a lot of guitar based bands (most famous of all is probably Sepultura), like Legião or Titãs. The main points for me are the guitar and Renato Russo's voice, it can be soft, harsh, romantic, angry. I don't like it as much when they go for a rockier sound, but their more poppy numbers are a joy, albeit tinted with a certain darkness. The one thing that ages this album is the production, but once you get past that, I hope you can enjoy it. So here it is, on Spotify or in the dropbox.


shane said...

(as I can't pick up any thing of the language, in Eduardo E Mônica when they mention Bauhaus, is it the band or the design idea?)

apart from that loving the alternative 80'sness of it so far.. full on jangly afternoon... thanks.

ejaydee said...

Could be both Shane. The passage goes:
She liked Bandeira (presumably the Brazilian poet) and Bauhaus, Van Gogh and the Mutantes, Caetano (presumably) Veloso,
And Eduardo liked soap operas, and table football like his grandfather,
She spoke about the Planalto Central (the big plains in the centre of Brazil), also magic and meditation,
and Eduardo was still in a 'school, cinema, club, television' mindset"

"Jangly"!! Now there's a word I could have used.

ejaydee said...

More importantly, is THIS:
acceptable behaviour from a RR Guru, I ask you?

barbryn said...

I like it, even if the production jars a bit, but I'm a bit frustrated not to be able to understand the lyrics - judging by the snippet you translated above they're obviously a big part of it. I don't think I'd be particularly into The Smiths, The Go-Betweens or a lot of my other favourite bands if I didn't understand the words. This isn't always such a problem - I like a lot of 'world' music where I don't understand a word - but I feel I'm missing out here.

steenbeck said...

I know!

Still haven't listened, today, hopefully.

saneshane said...

speaking as someone about to move even closer to the east anglian coast....
how ever much freedom you want or how ever tough you are... your stalactites just might drop off

unless the freak weather stays like this week.. then we are all gonna be jumping in the north sea starkers..

(you didn't want to know that did you?)

steenbeck said...

Hey, I like it! I think it might take a couple of listens, especially for some of the less straight-forward songs. Tempo Perdido was the one I like best on first listen, but there were others I'd like to hear again.

Barbryn's point about the lyrics is interesting. Certainly Morrissey's witty word play is part of their appeal, but I think I'd like the smiths even if I didn't know what he was saying. And I like the sound of Portuguese.

Thanks, Ejay. I would probably never have encountered this if it wasn't for the wonderfully edifying 'Spill.

Now I have some Mexican Hip hop the cooks at work gave me...

ejaydee said...

Thanks Barbryn, I figured the language might put some people off, so I chose one where the music at least would still be familiar, but you turned my argument around!

Shane, the Channel is probably as far north a sea I'll swim in, but anyway it's different for men as you and Paul point out, shrinking is a problem, as George Costanza knows too well(is that english?):

saneshane said...

don't ask me about the use of English.. I'm designer*

(*use of English by QOTSA)

He He
for the clip.

and the more I listen to the tunes, as it is familiar.. I too think I'm missing out on not knowing the language.

I've read my TINARIWEN lyric books to fully understand them, and I think it adds another dimension, but I didn't need to.

(bizarrely my latest Cass McCombs album came with the lyrics translated into German.. they make about the same amount of sense as the English!)

and I have some Bulgarian Hip Hop but I'm not sure anythings going to help the particular rappers that I've been given.

Shoegazer said...

Sounds nothing like the cure or the smiths to me, but it does sound very 80's, in a good way, with an inevitable latin feel, also in a good way. Agree you can't enjoy this kind of thing to full extent if you don't know the language. Also, sad to learn that the singer died from aids. Do think they ripped-off/homaged Peter Saville for the sleeve design (see New Order - Ceremony 12").

nilpferd said...

Sorry EJD, I know it was my comment on RR which led you to put this up, and I've been meaning to listen for a while, finally had some free time today. I'd agree with the Smiths comparison- especially the start of Daniel na cova.., or Tempo Perdido, lots of the guitar picking and bass/drums are very reminiscent of Hatful of Hollow era Smiths, while some of Daniel na cova remind me very much of Some Girls are bigger than others.
Acrilic on Canvas is also a fine track, recalls The Church, especially a track like Constant in Opal, and Andrea Doria to me recalls early Go-Betweens.
I much prefer the band's guitar-y moments to the orchestral/piano backing, don't have a problem with (not understanding) the lyrics, although the singer's slightly husky delivery does on occasion remind me of the sort of Italian or Spanish rock band which gets token airplay on the radio over here.
I do like the sound of the lyrics on Eduardo e Monica, the song sounds very clever- a bit like listening to the raps of MC Solaar, the sound of the words fits well with the music.
Generally I find the tracks interesting and intriguing musically- the delicate shading of a track like Andrea Doria is just the sort of pop I like, Indios has the straight-ahead and slightly desperate feel of the best of German indie new wave.
Very nice post, thanks.