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Paula Toller

Sónós

rec. 2007

WARNER 5101196662 [46:16]

 

 

 




(O Qé Que Eu Sou) / What Am I
All Over
A Noite Sonhei Contigo
Pane De Maravilha / Wonder Failure
If You Won't
Meu Amor Se Mudou Pra Lua
Tudo Se Perdeu (Vicious World)
Long Way From Home
Barcelona 16
Eu Quero Ir Pra Rua
Um Primeiro Beijo / A First Kiss
Você Me Ganhou De Presente / You Got Me As A Gift
Rústica / Rustic
Glass - I'm So Brazilian
Paula Toller and her band with Jesse Harris and Donavon Frankrenreiter and Kevin Johansen

 

This is the second solo disc by the Brazilian singer Paula Toller, best known perhaps for her work with Kid Abelha. Her first solo disc was issued way back in 1998 so this one, nearly a decade later, shows that she’s not greedy to saturate the market with work of this kind.

Toller is a pop singer with only the very vaguest links to any kind of jazz inflection. There’s only one song that shows such hints – the springy Long Way From Home which opens with a Nashville-styled slide guitar intro but has a lightly textured and easy-moving swing that is both approachable and likeable. For the rest we are deep in MOR territory.

(O Qé Que Eu Sou) or What Am I in English opens the album with a kind of sub Sheryl Crow vibe. This is an affiliation that recurs throughout the disc – with the open lyricism and C&W hues that Crow used to push being similarly evident in Toller’s work. Try Meu Amor Se Mudou Pra Lua - another track that reinforces the connection. So too Barcelona 16 which, despite going on too long, sounds like a pared down Crow vehicle. If You Won’t is a more straight-down-the-line C&W number whereas All Over is out and out pop despite flecks of Latin American percussion.

Tudo Se Perdeu (Vicious World) is a Rufus Wainwright song and it sounds comfortingly religiose here. Certainly Toller’s feel for easy lyricism is a plus, but there’s simply too much unsieved material here, too much that sounds too alike; the arrangements are pretty flimsy at the best of times and the whole album has a chaff-like feel, as if a lack of rhythmic drive and verve were in some way a blessing. And this from a Brazilian as well.

Jonathan Woolf

 



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