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Almôndegas - Aqui CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.49 | 5 ratings

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2 stars Our beloved sub genre of prog folk occasionally flirts with the loosely defined "campfire song" style, that is, innocent or even naive sounding songs that might be best enjoyed when something flammable is burning. Whether that something is a bundle of hardwood logs or a thin rolled indulgence to be passed around largely determines the age of the target audience. "Aqui" was campfire music for mid 20s Brazilians in 1975, that is, those who tried most of the decade to recapture the spirit of Woodstock from thousands of kilometers away.

Very little here is poor, but even less is remarkably good or progressive in any real sense. Melodies are rather unmemorable, which renders the harmonies quaint but ephemeral. Similar instrumental and vocal approaches were taken at the time by Argentinian groups like PASTORAL and MELIMELUM, but those were marked by superior compositions and an appreciation for the timeless aspects of their craft. It's a shame, because with a little tweak here and there, "Em Meio Aos Campos", "Canção Da Meia Noite", and "Mi Triste Santiago" could have been so much more than mere pleasantries. If I had to name a highlight, it would be "Gaudencio Sete Luas", thanks largely to its flutes and romantic hot summer evening ambiance, with "Barca De Caronte" coming in second thanks to its moody sense of purpose. The low point might be "Coisa Miuda", in which the vocals are more irritating than nondescript, but lack of familiarity with the language prevents me from pronouncing any further judgment.

Without a strong background in Brazilian folk, I nonetheless believe that such a populous and musically rich country must have produced far better examples for us to discover, whether progressive or otherwise. This repast is neither spicy nor meaty, making ALMONDEGAS a nut not worth cracking.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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