With the release of her debut Tanto Tempo
in 2000, the Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto and the late DJ Suba redefined the bossa nova sound. Her sophomore effort, produced by Marius de Vries, the soundmeister behind Madonna, Annie Lennox and Bjork, was recorded in Rio, Bahia, London and New York. Gilberto's cool contralto sings sweetly over synths, strings, percussion acoustic piano and horns. Daniel Jobim and Pedro Baby contributed compositions. Caetano Veloso's "Baby" features lyrics by Os Mutantes, and Carlinhos Brown's candomblé-cadenced, "Aganju" swings with a nod to Africa. Bebel's hushed vocals reveal the influences of her father, the legendary Joao Gilberto, and of her mother Miucha on the electro-bossa beats of "Winter." Ditto the ocean-breezed "O Caminho," with jazzy orchestrations and pianisms provided by Joao Donato. This disc aims for the ear rather than the hips, but don't be surprised if future remixes could flip that sonic script. --Eugene Holley, Jr.