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Os Mutantes

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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5 stars Anyone who didn't rate this 5 stars cannot be said to have any knowledge about overall rock n roll. This is the debut album from the band that would grow to be Brazil's finest, and then prove to be the best band ever without achieving world-wide recognition. Dudes, this has "FIVE-STAR" written all over it!!

This is worth your money just for the historical value alone, as it contains great songs written by the Tropicalia flagmen Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Maestro Rogerio Duprat's arrangements are pictorical, modern and avant-gardeish. Sergio Dias' guitars are rotten dirty, flawlessly rambling over Jorge Ben's acoustic guitar as in "A Minha Menina" and giving away sweet leslie feelings as in "Baby", Sergio is unforgettable for his unique tone and playing and establishes his personality in this record alone. Rita Lee's finest does not resides in her vocal habilities, but on her fabulous percussions, or who else would play tropicalia over the sound of breaking crystal? Arnaldo Baptista sounds quiet but some times appears screaming and partying around with hammonds and moogs, and his bass playing is spectacular. No one, listening to this record could have thought he would grow to be the closest thing to a south-american Syd Barrett.

Listen to this record and watch the best band ever transmutate itself into a Traditional Dixieland Jazz Band ("Senhor F"), a classic Brazilian Northwest Troubadour ("Adeus, Maria Fulô"), a French cult singer ("Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour"), a Tropicalia-chanting choir ("Bat Macumba") and much more just to prove its supremacy in a debut album.

I repeat, the best band of all times.

Report this review (#28661)
Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Definitively, a masterpiece!!! "Panis et Circensis" is truly a psychedelic anthem and "Baby", one of the greatest hits of Brazilian music ever! What makes this album a masterpiece is the pioneerism of Os Mutantes on improvising musical instruments out of some utensils such as sprays and some other stuff... It's notorious the influence of Tropicalia in some songs which mixes Brazilian folkloric genres and foreign rock music - some part of Os Mutante's originallity came from it. "Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour" is another song that really touches me. Rita Lee's angelic voice singing in french and the intial bass(?) solo...
Report this review (#28663)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Think about it 1: Brazil was totally outside the musical mainstream in the 60s (and still partially is) and basically the only thing gringos knew about us were flamboyant epic sambas like Barroso's 'Aquarela do Brasil' or some jazz-influenced bossa nova.

Think about it 2: Mutantes' core members: Rita Lee and brothers Arnaldo and Sergio Dias Baptista were doing experimental and proto-psychedelic music since they were teenagers in 1964-65 (although with a different band name).

Think about it 3: Mutantes achieved an extraordinary deed of becoming really proto-prog masters. After being discovered in Europe and North America in the 70s they start to shine brilliantly.

The majority of the album songs are now part of the Brazilian imaginary collective, even covers like 'Minha menina' that became much better known through Mutantes version.

Try 'Panis et Circensis', experiment 'Bat macumba', eat 'Ave Gengis Khan', drink 'Trem fantasma' and you'll be entirely satisfied.

A clear 4-star work edging the mastering step!

Report this review (#55916)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Awesome debute album, showing Mutantes´ ability to be creative, great musicians and jokers. Listen carefully to the arrengements made by Duprat, one of the responsible for Tropicália, a movement that created the first trully brazilian rock.
Report this review (#128936)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars According to Floco, a fellow reviewer, I quote "anyone who didn't rate this album with 5 stars cannot be said to have any knowledge about overall rock n roll".

First of all, this album has nothing to do with rock'n'roll. And even if I am really looking deep and deeper, I can hardly find lots of psyche mood in this album (even if a short portion of "O Relógio" can be related to this style). Some pleasant Brazilian music ("A Minha Menina"), nice melodies but little to write home about: this is what you can expect from this debut album.

And even if some might be laudatory about a song like "Adeus Maria Fulô", I can't. Below average in terms of prog. Not to mention that psychedelia is absolutely alien to this song. And the syrupy "Baby" is far from my meaning of prog music.

This album might have been a local curiosity at the time of release (1968) but "Senhor F" and its fifties jazzy style doesn't move me at all. Ethnic African rhythms, but so boring, during "Bat Macumba" won't change my opinion about this album. Totally overrated.

This release was not a great experience as far as I am concerned. Just listen to the extremely poor "Le Premier Bonheur du Jour" and its very weak lyrics (in French, so unfortunately I am able to understand) to be convinced. A fantastic press nextT type of song (but "Trem Fantasma" is on par, believe me).

All in all, this is a boring album. Prog sounds are scarce and inspiration is about the same level. I even wonder why I rate this one with two stars. Actually, "Tempo no Tempo" should have prevented me to do so, but I am generous in this case. Even if I "don't have any knowledge about overall rock n roll".

One of the very few (but again poor) psyche song might well be the closing number. But "Ave Gengis Khan" is too much disjointed and isn't really appealing.

Report this review (#169195)
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Easy Money
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars What a wonderful, wacky and bizarre album this is. Brazilian folk, psychedelic rock, snippets of avant-garde, traditional Brazilian percussion ensembles and 60s teen pop all come together in an outrageously original mix that is full of surprises and lots of great tunes. If your idea of psychedelic rock is commercialized efforts like Sgt Peppers, forget it, this is the real deal; raw, naïve and non-contrived 60s psychedelicosis.

Like a lot of the more primary psychedelic bands of their era, the Mutantes mix their music their own way and ignore all the standard conventions of the time. Most instruments on here that receive special treatments, such as distortion or tremelo, are turned up high in the mix as if to make sure you didn't miss the 'weird' part. Twangy fuzzed out guitars leap out of the speaker and into your room when they make their bold entrances. Likewise the arrangements of the Mutante's tunes are naively experimental and occasionally complicated as they chop up standard verse/chorus structures with found sounds, avant episodes and excursions that recall theatre or cabaret.

This album is highly recommended for fans of 60s psychedelic rock, this is so much better than all that derivative music that the big labels put out in an attempt to copy bands such as this.

Report this review (#277932)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars For some reason,the new music that was being made in Brazil in the late 60's had something quite worthy of attention.Few managed to incorporate the summer of love so well(and then turn it into something of their own),as did the young generation of upcoming musicians in the country at the time.And ,as with everything worthy of artistic notice from that period,the Tropicalism was more a feeling than it was an ideal of any kind.

This album has always been,since it's release and maybe even more so today,a fascinating listen,Those who speak portuguese will surely notice the lysergic poetry of the lyrics,and those who don't will be hypnotised by the spiral melodies that orbitate around all sorts of bizarre noises.As one of the true works of art generated by the Tropicalists,and self-consciously so,Os Mutantes is sort of a latin equivalent to The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,as an album that perfectly captured the spirit of a time and place.As with Pink Floyd's debut,this album stands alone in the band's repertoire as a beautiful gem of the 60's,a record that transcended it's own creators immaturity to become a somewhat important piece of musical history,Songwriting would be refined later on,but the final product could never be so precious again.

Just listen to Panis Et Circences.It has something of "A Day in the Life" to it,but the lullaby mood of the whole thing,with carefully constructed vocal harmonies,makes it unique.Bat Macumba is equally impressive and even more bizarre,but the point is:somehow,in the end it's all joyfull to be heard.It's pure Carpe Diem all the way through,and the scent of purple haze in the studio can be unmistakeably felt, coming out of the speakers forever.

Anyone who's now discovering just how phenomenal was the music in the late 60's shouldn't miss this album.It is a psychedelic masterpiece of the finest brand,and really can be placed alongside with groundbreaking albums from that period,from Trout Mask Replica to Dr.John's Gris-Gris.

Report this review (#705519)
Posted Monday, April 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I hate how the brazilian music is totally overlooked and underrated by the others. Sounds like our country is only for samba/bossa, favela and carnival. It would be the same if I said that USA are just a home for cowboys, the entire Africa is a place for hungry children and Australia is a giant desert full of kangaroos.

Os Mutantes debut. It's like the brazilian "Piper at The Gates of Dawn". It carries some true masterpieces! It carries the wheight of "Panis et Circenses", a PSYCHEDELICMASTERPIECE for real! It's totally out of mainstream, crazy and experimental. I haven't got the mood for this album when I was younger. O Relógio is my favorite track here.

If you are into psychedelic rock, you MUST check this.

Report this review (#959565)
Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Os Mutantes' debut album finds the gang playing in the then-hot Tropic'lia style, a distinctly Brazilian flavour of psychedelic music filtered through local musical styles. Adding a little samba to your psych turns out to be a decidedly worthwhile experiment, and the Baptista brothers (along with female vocalist Rita Lee) execute it magnificently without a hint of trepidation or hesitancy.

It's all the more impressive when you consider that the military government of Brazil at the time viewed the Tropic'lia scene with deep suspicion (and indeed would arrest several of its core members in the same year this album came out). We should be glad that Os Mutantes managed to defy the hostility of the authorities and get this music out for the world to enjoy.

Report this review (#976426)
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | Review Permalink

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