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Marisa Monte: A Great Noise

Brazilian pop icon Marisa Monte’s fourth album, A Great Noise (Metro Blue 7243: 57:09) is just that, a sleekly-yet-artfully tailored package of Brazilian pop that taps into that culture’s heritage and makes an attractive noise. Co-produced by Arto Lindsay, who also had a hand in shaping Monte’s earlier work, and with cameos by such stateside musicians as bassist Melvin Gibbs, Bernie Worrell and Arthur Barron, the album builds a Brazilian-American accord which comes naturally. American consumers get a lot for their money-seven new studio-cooked songs (including Gilberto Gil’s “Cerebro Electronico”) and 11 live tracks (including a great accordion-lined version of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love”). The cover and liner art leaps out, with its pantheon of sensuous-mock-lurid, even, cartoon-figure drawings in states of arousal and romance. The artwork pays tribute to underground Brazilian artist Carlos Zefiro. So goes the music, yet without quite the edginess you might expect. This is music that goes down easily, in keeping with Monte’s understated vocal graces.

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