Freitag, 20. August 2021

Nara Leão ‎– Nara Leão (1968)

Nara Leão, the Musa da Bossa Nova (Bossa Nova's Muse, as she is affectionately known), was a prominent figure in bossa nova. She didn't restrict herself as a bossa nova singer, though, and was one of the first artists to engage in the movement later known as "canção de protesto" (protest song), an artistic movement which denounced military dictatorship in Brazil. She launched the careers of such composers/interpreters as Chico Buarque, Zé Keti, Martinho da Vila, Edu Lobo, Paulinho da Viola, and Fagner. An international performer in spite of her short, uneducated voice, she left an expressive discography even though death caught her by surprise at such a precocious age.

Nara Leão's vocal style is reminiscent of Elis Regina, slightly breathy and well-articulated. Her self-titled album is a rather bizarre entry in the Brazilian tropicalia vein -- bizarre for its conventionality. Featuring full orchestral arrangements, the album waxes '60s pop one minute and '30s waltz the next, while always remaining cleanly and immaculately produced. Yet there is a classicist feel to the record, with the traditional Brazilian fare remaining very conservative compared to other tropicalia artists such as Os Mutantes. The first track "Lindonéia" is a tango-influenced bossa nova written by Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso, whose songs are peppered throughout. The horn and flute accents on "Quem É" might remind some pop culture junkies of the theme to the game show Match Game. "Anoiteceu" is that particular brand of mid-'60s bossa nova often associated with jet-setting love affairs and seaside roadways. One of the true joys of the album, though, has to be the cover photo -- sans any print -- of Leão reclining on an orange Turkish rug and wearing a purple cotton shirt, with a far-off look on her face.


Quem É
Donzela Por Piedade Não Perturbes
Mamãe Coragem
Um Chorinho Chamado Odeon
Medroso De Amor
Deus Vos Salve Esta Casa Santa
Tema De "Os Inconfidentes"

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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