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Haddad - Blues e Outros Bichos CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.12 | 7 ratings

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2 stars Vitória, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo, is a fine and charming city, with a population around half a million inhabitants. The city lies apart from the powerful Rio-São Paulo cultural axis and also cannot be compared with other important centers like Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Recife, but anyway I can testify that Vitória never gave up and have produced its own musical crops. Being my maternal family rooted in the mentioned state I had the opportunity to spend there (state & city) many of my school holidays during my childhood, adolescence and youth and together with fond relatives witnessed a varied array of acts originated there. But in fact I never saw too much progressive or prog-rock tendencies, being the capixaba* people much more into the hard and heavy rock streams.

That said, I was amazingly surprised when I discovered HADDAD, via ProgArchives. how ironic it is! Obviously I started to research and beginning with the band's 2004 release "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" I went backwards till their second album: "Blues E Outros Bichos" (Blues & Other Beasts), a 1997 production. I did not come across their debut album but I'm quite sure that just like this one, the content is a cornucopia of different sounds and styles: blues & good ol' vintage rocks, ball-room tunes, soft ballads and love songs, new wave spices and a light and almost meaningless prog aroma. The atmosphere takes us directly to 50s, 60s and early 70s - not prog at all, but very amusing.

To be noticed are the production, very neat, clean, professional and the band's musicianship: these kids aren't rookies. Vocals are part in Portuguese and part in English and since the natives of Vitória have no hard accent when speaking/singing in their native language, the result in English is to say the least, interesting. Forgetting the prog index we face truly a fair release, recommended for some relaxing hours.

'Madness', the staring point, emulates some r&b and blues songs and gives the tone for the album. 'Por que é sempre assim', is a fine hard rock, late 60s style, with a short symphonic interlude, exquisite and catchy. 'Confuso Carneiro' does some reference to astrology (Carneiro = Aries) and shows a good ball-room dancing ambience. 'Mais-valia genética' reminds me some typical Brazilian rocks of the 80s, with that clear new-wave background. 'Guerra' is another soft rock, provided with some protest- like lyrics and now the late 60s touch is dominating.

'Camburi blues' starts album's 2nd part in a cool manner and I may tell you that the atmosphere has everything to do with the beautiful Camburi Beach, specifically before it was invaded by the city expansion. The short 'I'm leaving you' is another track that sends the hearer right to the 60s. 'Prece' has good guitar sounds and fine vocals acting like a modern prayer (in fact the track name). 'Vida' is an average song with a fine funk beat. 'Sunset Boulevard' is refreshing and 'Mankind', the ending point, seems a homage to many bands that have influenced HADDAD.

All in all, "Blues E Outros Bichos" is a very enjoyable album, but considering its almost zero prog-rock content it'll only please band's fans and eventually some collector. HADDAD would show their progressive claws in albums yet to come and to be reviewed furtherly.

* capixaba = native or resident of the city of Vitória, also extended to all Espírito Santo state beings.

Atkingani | 2/5 |


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