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Various Tropicalia: A Revolutionary Movement of Sound

  • Words: Luciana Lopez
  • Label: Universal Music Latino
  • XLR8R Rating: 7/10

There’s nothing like a military dictatorship to make you socially aware–a lesson Brazil learned in 1964. Hence tropicalia, the 1960s movement that encompassed art, literature, and music as well political consciousness. This compilation celebrates the musical component of tropicalia, which set itself purposefully against formulaic pop and opted to push boundaries, laying the foundation for the current Música Popular Brasileira. The collection’s a fairly safe one, including the movement’s biggest names: Gilberto Gil (currently the Brazilian Minister of Culture), Caetano Veloso, the full-throated Gal Costa, and the psyched-out Os Mutantes. Still, if there are no surprises among the artists, the songs themselves have aged well (despite the often-swelling strings), and illuminate a watershed time in Brazilian art.

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