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14 Bis - 14 Bis CD (album) cover

14 BIS

14 Bis


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4.11 | 22 ratings

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3 stars 14 Bis was quite a big name in Brazil, beginning with this, their very first release. Its maturity may relate to the already veteran status of some of the members, who had played for seminal progressive bands prior to forming 14 Bis. While this is essentially a pop album, it is extraordinarily well crafted, with attention to detail not normally found on the charts, and a willingness to take small p progressive detours, especially in the last half minute or so of many cuts, like sneaking a cookie just before the kitchen closes.

Just so there could be no doubt of one of their prime influences, the album opens with "Perdido En Abbey Road", which is like a Portuguese "Back in the USSR". After this inauspicious start, they get down to business, and "Canto de America" establishes their mastery of sweet balladry that might partially explain their success across the demographic spectrum. Most of the material here is as good or better, and apart from high pitched vocal harmonies, includes versatile organ work, much fine acoustic guitar, and even harmonica here and there. "Cinema de Faroeste" is particularly compelling with its furiously strummed Latin guitar work, succinct organ and clever time changes. Likewise "Natural" ably proclaims a passion for country and western music while not forsaking the trademark vocal blends. The two closing numbers are equally impressive, the first an organ rich ballad and the second an accordion led lullabye.

Like the group namesake, this album references a rating address somewhere between 2 whole numbers. Although I really enjoy most of it, I feel that an understanding of the lyrics might help elevate it to premium status, but without forthcoming Portuguese lessons, I have to settle for 3 stars.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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