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14 Bis - II CD (album) cover


14 Bis


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3.19 | 12 ratings

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2 stars For the first half of this followup to 14 BIS' debut, the group matches toe for toe the dance of that earlier disk, but the momentum fades just after the halfway mark. By far the best thing here is "Planeta Sonho", from elegant organ theme to gentle harmonizing to trademark crescendo, it has it all as far as 14 BIS is concerned. The other master stroke is the MILTON NASCIMENTO aided "Bola De Meia, Bola De Gude", in which his guitar lays down the rhythm for a deceptively simple yet delightful piece in which synths (I assume) are used like whistles.

What should have been the 3rd highlight is the lengthiest track, the instrumental named after the band, but, notwithstanding an excellent main melody and acoustic guitar flourishes, it exposes the group's loss of touch with the progressive scene by now. The heavier central part is more clumsy than hard hitting, and doesn't really establish a trademark climax.

As both the album and the inspiration wane, the group resorts to a harder rock sound for the first time, and reaches a nadir with "Esquinas De Tantas Ruas". While on the debut the group could be relied upon to rescue the most syrupy ballad, here there is no salvation, simply subpar rock, nothing more. The closer is better handled and includes imaginative percussion and orchestral outro for a more progressive feel, but seems disjointed like a quilt compiled by members of a feuding family.

I hesitate to submit a lower rating here since in some sense this sophomore release is the more progressive of the first 2, but it also confirms that 14 BIS is and should be a sophisticated pop band. 2.5 stars rounded down.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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