My work has become horribly busy. Not too busy for me to go out to Academy at lunchtime and buy 5 (five) CDs though. Nice one! I also listened to the new Marcos Valle. It’s ok.
Marcos Valle: 'Escape' (CD; Far Out; 2001)
Hmm. I guess the bottom line on this one is that it's 'not my scene'. I'm genuinely delighted that Marcos is recording again. However, this isn't exactly my kind of record, alas. The first problem I have with it is his decision to use guest vocalists. I bought a Marcos Valle album - I don't want to hear other singers, particularly since they add to the already overly prominent smoothness of the record. The second is that the songs in general suffer from too much repetition and sound rather generic.
To be fair, there are some highlights. A few tracks retain some of the feel of some of Marcos's classic work and expand on it quite successfully. 'O indio e o brasil', cowritten with Vinicius Cantuaria (whose name is spelled wrong on the cover - what is it with these Far Out/Mr Bongo releases and the lack of proofreading!) is a nice little bossa with some solid guitar playing and some (synth) piano and strings. Great stuff, but it would be good to unleash Marcos's arrangements on a full orchestra again... 'Apaixonada por Voce' has similarly prominent guitar and some nice chord changes. The vocals are by Patricia Alvi rather than Marcos, but still, it's a good song with a lot more bite and variation than most of the rest of the LP. 'On Line', while very simple, is nice, with a Marcos vocal and some prominent guitar. It's definitely too long though...
'Festerira' begins with a classic feel - berimbau, guitar and some group vocals. It's probably the only track on this album which sounds like it could have been recorded in the 60s or 70s. It's a little too much of a repetitive samba for my taste, never really developing musically has I would have liked.
The first track, 'escape', sees Marcos revisit his 'Garra' era scat vocal technique. Sadly, the song sounds musically rather generic to my ears, and while it's pleasant enough, there's not really enough in the song to justify its 5:43 length. 'Maria Mariana' is quite cool, although the cheesy echoey effects on Marcos's voice aren't that great, and the production is so not-to-my-taste that I find it quite hard to appreciate the rest of the song. 'Poweride' has an extremely 70s/80s smooth jazz style production, so you can probably guess how I feel about it. It also overstays its welcome by about 6 minutes by clocking in at 7:56. 'Realidade' is a tender Marcos vocal, but alas sounds rather dated before its time, thanks to the cheesy bass sound and the 90s electronic beat.
I know it would have been too much for my idol to have guessed that I wanted him to make another record in the style of his late 60s/early 70s material and then go ahead and make it. Still, I can't help but be slightly disappointed by the musical niche Marcos seems to have found himself in to my ears, an odd sounding fusion of acid jazz, smooth jazz and 90s beats.