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Secos & Molhados - Secos & Molhados (II) CD (album) cover


Secos & Molhados


Prog Folk

4.36 | 20 ratings

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4 stars Buoyed by the unprecedented success of their first album and subsequent tours, SECOS & MOLHADOS quickly entered the studio to record a follow up. Unfortunately, several rifts over finances emerged and the band split before the album was even released, never to reform in its classic incarnation. The album also sold very well and, even more remarkably, is vastly superior to the debut, with a more punchy production, an engaging breadth of styles, and complaisant playing and singing all round.

From the opening notes of "Tecer Mundo", with its lyrical clarity and succinct plucked guitars, the listener is captivated. A somewhat liberal borrowing in the vocalise section from CAT STEVENS' classic "Wild World" is discernible and comforting to those weaned on the singer songwriter era. "Medo Mulato" evinces an Eastern European flair, with lively piano and even accordion for a street wise ambiance. "Voo" is quite a departure, with furiously strummed electric and acoustic guitars, spacey keyboards and harmonica over irresistible Brazilian rhythms, guaranteed to appeal to fans of conventional "world music". Its abrupt ending is part of a pattern here, which seems neither intentional nor effective, almost as though conflicts in the studio cut the sessions short and the production guys and gals spliced together what they could. Still, this is a minor quibble. Even songs like "Angustia", not in a style I generally care for, are handled with restrained panache lacking on the earlier release.

Unlike on the first album, a series of diminutive cuts towards the latter half is wholly compelling, with "Caixinha De Música Do Joao", "O Doce E O Amargo" and "Preto Velho" cumulatively totaling barely 4 minutes while deserving of epic status, reflectively arranged with flutes, acoustic guitars, and piano, and intensely melodic. I might have kept them together as one but that is easy enough to arrange with today's technology.

Most reviews floating about the web seem to rate both original SECOS & MOLHADOS albums about equally. Given the unprecedented buzz generated less than a year earlier, I would argue that this effort had to be better just to avoid being stamped with the sophomore jinx, and that it is, by far. I'm glad I gave them a second chance.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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