Album no. 112/1001
Os Mutantes are from Brazil! They were part of a movement called ‘Tropicalia’ (or ‘Tropicalismo’) which was all about combining old and new influences to come up with something new. At the time that basically meant they were crossing traditional Brazilian music with the Beatles.
This is the original lineup of Os Mutantes, the one that wikipedia says made the most ‘notorious’ breakthrough for the group. The lineup has evolved multiple times, but they are still playing gigs! Great stuff Os Mutantes!
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I would struggle just to name another band from Brazil. No.
CL: I didn’t know they even had pop music in Brazil.
NK: The opening track is so good! ‘Panis et circenses’! I wonder what that translates to (my prediction: ‘penis at the circus’). All the fun singing with catchy melodies but no way of understanding the words, it reminded me a bit of Deerhoof (who are great). I also really like ‘O relogio’, which has a minute and a half of quiet guitar and vocals, a minute of rocking out with added flutes and trumpets, then another minute of the quiet song. Weird and really good. ‘Baby’ is really weird and fun, a change of pace. I enjoyed this!
CL: I think you’re really overselling it here – although I obviously snorted at your translation. I didn’t really find a song that stood out! The first track has that weird stop in the middle – like the record player was turned off in the middle of a restaurant. To be honest, the rest all sort of mushed into one long song.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: When you need something light-hearted!
CL: Mmmm, I wouldn’t say that.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: Because it’s great! It’s got some samba-ish beats, but it’s also got lyrics (sung in Portugese I think), great melodies, weirdo distorted guitars, and the sense that the band is having THE BEST TIME. It’s joyful.
CL: … did we listen to the same album? I wouldn’t use the word joyful.
Will you be listening again?
NK: Yeah I’ll give this another go.