The Bottom Line
Singer/songwriter Ceu's debut album is a cool, breezy mixture of Brazilian samba, bossa nova, jazz, funk, electro-pop and more. The voice is mellow and seductive, the songs romantic, melancholy, moody and suggestive with plenty of scratch for a vinyl effect. If you like jazzy Brazilian fusion, this album is one you'll treasure.
- Innovative, often unexpected Brazilian samba fused with jazz, funk, electronica
- If you like your samba traditional, you might not be happy with the scratching, electronics
- Brazilian music fuses with jazz, funk, electro-pop and more in 15 tracks of smooth, sexy tunes
- With Cuban pianist Pepe Cisneros
- Released by Six Degrees Records
Guide Review - CD Review: Ceu
Ceu (Maria do Ceu Whitaker Pocas) is a young singer from Sao Paulo, a Brazilian town that seems to grow great musicians at a weed's pace. Her self-titled album came out in Europe and Canada a couple of years ago on the Urban Jungle Label. It was well received and Ceu was nominated for a 2006 Latin Grammy as 'Best New Artist' (Calle 13 won the award, but I wouldn't want to compare reggaeton and Brazilian samba/jazz and decide on a winner). We have Six Degrees and Starbuck Entertainment to thank for bringing this distinctive artist to the U.S. - and thank them we should.
A lot of the music we get from Brazil is jazzed-up bossa nova, but Ceu is different. Although her roots are in Brazilian samba, she fuses the traditional with lots of jazz, electro-pop, funk and soul. She's a big vinyl fan and there's the scratch note to remind us of actual records. Her voice is clear and smooth; it can be seductive or playful. Ceu and guitarist Alex Halat composed four of the album's tracks.
The album starts out with a minute of samba percussion, moves on to the soul/funk "Lenda" then on to one of my favorites, "Malemolencia". The album scratches its way into "Roda", the cuica (a Brazilian drum), sounding like an exotic jungle animal, leads us into "O Ronco da Cuica".
Every track on this album is innovative in some way and all are a pleasure to listen to.
By the way, I've been reading a lot of arguments over what 'malemolencia' actually means. If you know, let the rest of us in on it!