Saturday, June 20, 2009

CéU

So as the week comes to an end, I've got one more dash of Latin music to round it out. Completely reversing gears from yesterday's flashback to Panama in the 60's and 70's, let's fast forward to the present, Brazil, with the gorgeous Chanteuse CéU. Don't ask me how to pronounce it, but in Portuguese, céu can mean either sky or heaven, depending on the context. I'd lean towards heaven upon seeing her, and more importantly, listening to her music.

CéU first entered the spotlight in 2007, when her first, self-titled American album earned her a Latin Grammy nomination for best new artist and a regular (?) Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary World Music Album. Early next month, her next release is due out, titled Vagarosa, and I've been lucky enough to get a sneak listen to it for the last few weeks. It opens with Sobre o Amor e Seu Trabalho Silencioso, a number that could easily pass as an Astrud Gilberto song. It's got a very traditional feel to it that makes you expect an album of solid, yet staid new old songs. That expectation quickly gets tossed out the window during the album's next song, Cangote, when traditional instrumentation meets contemporary mixing with subtle, yet sharp results. Try out Bubuia below to see what I mean.

The real beauty of the album is the way is effortlessly straddles the divide between old and new. A comparison that almost immediately came to my mind was the bird and the bee, albeit with a Latin flair. It doesn't hurt that CéU's voice glides like honey, making it almost immaterial if you can't translate what she's saying.




and an older one from her debut:



Visit her label Six Degrees Records and become her friend on MySpace.

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3 comments:

Mário said...

Awesome songs. I see you like bossa nova. Drop me a line some time, I can send you some great songs!
Thanks for sharing!

Me By Me said...

I gotta say, this blog is my best source for melodic music that you won't hear anywhere else. I don't know where you find it all, but keep up the good work.

Cheers,

James

Sean said...

Hey Me and Mario,

Glad you liked the songs.