Album no. 129/1001
We’re taking a trip back to Brazil! This time with the tropicalia virtuoso Cateano Veloso.
Unsurprisingly, Cateno did have some involvement with our other Brazillian mates, Os Mutantes – and wrote one of their more well-known tunes ‘Panis et Circenses’. Everyone is friends in Brazil.
Despite sounding relatively tame nowadays, back in 1968 the Brazilian authorities thought Cateano was a bit of a wild-child and a threat to the very fabric of society. They consequently arrested him in 1969 and he was exiled for 2 years. That’s what you get for combining the keyboard and bongos back in the 60s.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: No. What is this genre tropicalia/tropicalismo? It sounds made up.
NK: My mates Os Mutantes were tropicalismo I think? However I have never heard of Cateano. I don’t even know if this is a band or a person.
CL: I just looked it up. Tropicalismo or ‘tropicalia’ was a Brazilian musical movement that was basically a combination of popular, avant garde and traditional Brazilian culture. Well. That clears everything up, thanks.
CL: Just when I thought we’d left this sort of thing behind, it creeps back up and takes me by surprise – and not in a good way.
NK: ‘Alegria, Alegria’ is pretty good! Some nice melodies, some fun guitar. I found the drums on this album a bit samba-y, to be honest (maybe it’s not the drums, but the rhythms?). Hard to pick another winner.
CL: I found this really hard to get into. I think the only one I really can remember is ‘Superbacana’. It’s basically old mate Cateano just saying words like ‘Copa Capana’ and ‘Superbacana’ over and over again. It’s not super-banana which is what I thought first time I read it.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: See, by the genre ‘tropicalismo’ I imagine a lot more kettle drum, probably more of a Caribbean sound. This is not that. It does have a traditional vibe to it – it doesn’t sound like it’s from 1968. It seems like everywhere outside of America and the UK was really doing everything in a vacuum back then.
NK: I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t recommend this if I’m completely honest. Give ‘Alegria, Alegria’ a go, and if you REALLY like that… listen to Os Mutantes instead.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: I suppose to appreciate this tropicalismo movement – but to be honest, I think unless you’re from Brazil, it’s impact is sort of lost. I don’t know. A lot of the songs sound like they could also be in The Sims.
NK: Old mate Caetano wrote Penis at the Circus, my favourite track off Os Mutantes! Alas, that’s better than anything here. I really liked Os Mutantes, but I couldn’t get into this.
Will you be listening again?
CL: Nah, it’s not for me. I tried, but I just can’t get into it.
NK: No, sorry Caetano. I MIGHT put on ‘Alegria, Alegria’, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Listen to Cateano Veloso on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.