Tuesday, December 06, 2011

THAIS GULIN - ôÔÔôôÔôÔ

A hell of a great record – as you might already guess from the fact that Kassin produced the album, he’s (known for his work with Caetano Veloso and Vanessa Da Mata) and Alê Siqueira (Tom Zé, Elza Soares, Arnaldo Antunes) and co-produced by Thaís herself. With that dream-team behind the soundboard, Thaís had just to let her strong personality pour into songs, some written by her, some borrowed from friends. ôÔÔôôÔôÔ also features guest appearances by Chico Buarque and Tom Ze! Yet Thais Gulin is clearly the main draw here – a really lovely, inventive singer with a freshness that comes through on the very first tune – the haunting string of "ooo" sounds in the title, set to sounds that are earthy enough to be earnest, yet gentle enough to sensitively deliver Thais to the public. Gulin, a singer from the cold Brazilian south chose the warmth of Rio as her city to live and to love. This her second album, ôÔÔôôÔôÔ, reflects this decision: it’s a Rio-themed album, but not one only focused on exploring the city’s effervescent cultural identity. Thaís is more interested in her own discoveries, in the people, places and signs she can relate to.

Chico Buarque contributes and sings the waltz “Se Eu Soubesse”, a beautiful love song that some says resulted in the romantic involvement that happened between them. Tom Zé, one of the few non-carioca musicians involved in the album, lend Thaís “Ali Sim, Alice”, a song that combines his eccentric timbre with her sweet and powerful voice. Even though ôÔÔôôÔôÔ can be labeled almost as a concept album, what stands out is a way of thinking and style of a singer and songwriter who knows what she wants, and has a universe of its own. The rest of the record follows with a similar balance between charm and creative expression – and titles include "Little Boxes", "Encantada", "Cinema Americano", "The Glory Hole", "Agua", "Horas Cariocas", "Se Eu Soubesse", and "Revendo Amigos.”

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