Caetano Veloso [1968] album cover
Caetano Veloso [1968]

Caetano Veloso


The opening salvo of Tropicália, Caetano Veloso’s debut announced the arrival of the greatest Brazilian talent since João Gilberto and launched a fifty-year career of a singer who remains resolute in pushing into new sonic realms. “It was against the dictatorship without saying anything about it,” Veloso would later tell the Times. Instead, Veloso presents himself as a suave young teen pop star with a Bing Crosby-worthy croon and an encyclopedic knowledge of everything from the bossa nova songbook to the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Pop Art of Andy Warhol to the writings of Che Guevara. The album strikes a balance between knowing winks and swaying hips. “Paisagem Útil” nods to Tom Jobim with its silky bossa nova, but casts the song’s lovers in the inhuman glow of an “ESSO” sign at a gas station. “Soy Loco Por Ti, America” teeters somewhere between a Colombian cumbia and a Cuban mambo, sung in Portuguese and Spanish. Throughout, Veloso is an assured presence.

Andy Beta

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