Rhythmic, sultry and spacious, this time Maita reinvents herself, instead of letting others do it for her.
Time: 10 tracks / 39 mins.
With a musician and concert promoter as parents, Brazilian Maita had a good start in music and her début album Lero Lero Lero Lero drew acclaim around the world, notably from leading American critics.
It led to her voice gracing the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, to collaborations, and several of her tracks being remixed by DJs.
Six years later, she has finally released the follow up, but this time she has shortened the process and put all of the tracks through her own electronica filter.
So on opener “Na Asa (On Wings)” her sultry voice floats over an insistent 7-note loop that draws you right in. There is not much else but a skeleton of bleeps and the flesh of her wispy voice. It works, it’s more-ish and it’s what she does best.
Initially the disc struck me as a mood piece, with one very light and spacious track morphing into the next. But the two tracks that follow it, “Around You” (the only English-language piece) and “Ole (hot),” feel dense by comparison, as heavier percussive elements drive the former and a whole band makes the latter a more conventional piece, with a grower of a tune.
These three set the pattern. The percussive drive (through which you can just trace her bossanova roots) reappears in the darker “Poräo (Basement),” some electric piano adds a jazzy feel to the reverby “Elo (hot)” and the guitars – both some low fuzzy and a highly effective picked riff – respectively add gravitas and a superb hook to “Volte (return).” The title track blends some of the denser elements.
I wouldn’t bother trying to work out what the songs are about. You have to negotiate the almost impenetrable fonts of the liner booklet, only to find lyrics like
“I’ll find what is mine since I was lulled to sleep
Since the moment I reached this place. Where was it... Olé”
Or “Forever will be where the cat lost his boots
and the king came back from there, where the fountain is luminous.”
Maita’s battery runs down a little on the final track or two, when the airy and sultry gives way to empty and lifeless, but it is enjoyable up to that point. She has found the right vehicle for her voice, so it should not take another six years until the next time.