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A Foreign Sound


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Audio CD, April 6, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0001LJC6G
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,736 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Carioca
2. So In Love
3. I Only Have Eyes For You
4. Always
5. Come As You Are
6. Feelings
7. Love For Sale
8. The Man I Love
9. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
10. Cry Me A River
11. Jamaica Farewell
12. Nature Boy
13. (Nothing But) Flowers
14. Manhattan
15. Diana
16. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
17. Love Me Tender
18. Body And Soul
19. If It's Magic
20. Detached
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On this new studio CD, Brazilian composer/singer/author Caetano Veloso reinterprets classic and contemporary American pop songs. Veloso's feathery, Miles Davis-like, Portuguese-inflected vocals negotiate the English language with silken skill with a 28-piece orchestra led by his long-time arranger, cellist Jaques Morelenbaum--featuring Carlinhos Brown on percussion and Veloso's gifted son Moreno on guitar--over Afro-bossa rhythms and spacey, echoplexed synth/guitar strains. Veloso sings the melody straight on the stunning string-accompanied "Feelings," and on a brave a capella reading of Cole Porter's "Love For Sale." But the fun begins when he reggae-fies Bob Dylan's "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," sings "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" with boppish sax lines and offers a twangy take on Kurt Cobain's "Come as You Are." From Stevie Wonder's "If It's Magic" to Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" and Arto Lindsey's edgy "Detached," Veloso shows that he's a master of sonic subversion. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

Customer Reviews

I simply loved this CD.
Stella Porto
The liner notes and the photos in the booklet are very well done and in sync with the CD.
Richard Pissillo
Irony is cheap; this sublime artist has much more to offer.
afan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong... I am a HUGE Caetano Veloso fan... I've written about him quite a bit, own all his records and had very high hopes for this album. But, still... this set of English-language standards and whimsically chosen cover tunes may be a bit too restrained and evenly modulated, with Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso mixing high culture and high camp, while tilting towards the highbrow end of the spectrum -- so much so that it's actually a bit stuffy and twee. The material is timeless -- pop standards from the likes of Cole Porter, et. al. alongside more modern classics from Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley and Kurt Cobain, as well as kitchier bits such as "Feelings," a Morris Alpert hit that remains one of the enduring lounge music classics. Likewise, the album's opener, "The Carioca," was chosen explicitly for its camp value, particularly in light of the album's ironic theme, the notion of "foreign" culture, as seen through the eyes of an "exotic" tropical celebrity from Latin America. The intellectual end of Veloso's enterprise is readily apparent, as is his affection for the songs and the various layers of popular culture they represent, and the level of intimacy he can impart to every line and lyric. What's missing, however, is the transcendant lightness he brings to, say, a live acoustic version of an old Hoagy Carmichael tune, amid the clamor of his thunderous Afro-Brazilian pop shows. The large, lofty arrangements are elegant to a fault, and are largely unvaried in tempo or tone... After a while, it all starts to sound the same -- the same sweet croon, the same charming sparkle, the same knowing smirk, as the same airy string sections underscore the same rarified jokes.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've loved Caetano Veloso's work for years, so when I heard about A Foreign Sound, I couldn't resist buying it. My advice: resist unless you feel a need to own everything he records. It's just plain strange. Only his natural artistry saves it. I found myself skipping from one cut to the next, trying to find something I could stand to listen to all the way through. Now, I think Caetano comes across nicely in English, and I'd love to see him do another album, but next time, I hope it makes more sense.
These songs odd choices -- "Feelings" and "The Carioca" are not high on my playlist these days -- and nothing seems to flow together. Better to stick with his classic recordings until he gives this another try.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jeffrey christian on January 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Exhausted with old time rock and rollers spelunking `Pop Standards' for the sake of thriving their long-lost careers [see Rod Stewart, Michael McDonald, etc...] Brazilian legend Veloso's sonic, wearing-thin velvet gift `reinterprets' [where Stewart `rehashes' and Michael McDonald's 'Motown' 'trashes'], allowing the inherent loveliness into these American standards, singing rings around his contemporaries. He redeems `Feelings', compliments and complements Kurt Cobain, reinvigorating Dylan & Stevie Wonder and even Cole Porter. And by same-sexing `The Man I Love', the hetero Veloso brings dignity and understanding across musical cultures in one song than any gay minstrel could hope. My grade: A-
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on April 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Caetano Veloso has returned to us with an album of American popular music, and what may appear, at least to the cynics among us, as his attempt to cash on the recent fad of reviving old classics -like Rod Stewart or Cindy Lauper, or even Boz Scaggs with more felicitous results- it's another strong statement from one of the world's seminal artists in contemporary music.
For those who may know little about Veloso, think of a composer on par with Stevie Wonder or Jimmy Webb, or of a poet of the stature of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Think of an icon of popular music who happened to have been born in Brazil, rather than Liverpool or New York, and suffered from the massive disinterest that seems to fall on so many great ones who, by and large do not sing in English, in the English-speaking world.
For the ones among us who already worship Caetano, this is the kind of "return to form" which you can easily compare with Dylan's "Love & Theft." Another work from a mature artist hitting the stride of his bottomless talent.
What Caetano has done here is to dedicate a whole album from the canon of popular music, the majority of which are revered American gems like "Love Me Tender" or "Body and Soul," or even Cole Porter's gorgeous "Love For Sale," and chiseled them anew, back to their essences, taking away and revealing new edges until they can be solely themselves and, yet, completely his.
Caetano Veloso may be a romantic, but never a sentimental man, and where others would have settled for the comfort of counting on so many willing listeners who would gladly indulge him and be satisfied with any version that his voice could grace, he has pushed these songs to say all that they can say, stepping into them carefully, audaciously, but never intruding.
Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Poblete on June 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As you can see on the other reviews people either love or hate this album. I think it's because it's very hard to listen at first. It sounds really weird specially if you are used to the popular versions of these songs, but after you've listened to it a couple times you end up understanding the beautiful different way Caetano sings them. At least you'll recognize "Cry me a river", "The man I love", "Smoke get's in your Eyes", "Feelings" and "Love for sale", all of them beautifully sung. My personal favorite is "Something good", from "The sound of music".
So my advice is keep on listening, you'll love it.
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