Tribalistas album cover


Phonomotor Records

Aligning the percussive sensibility of Carlinhos Brown, the poetic inventiveness of Arnaldo Antunes, and the mermaid-like voice and interpretation of Marisa Monte, the trio marked generations in the first decade of 2000. Even without having ever performed together on stage, the “Tribalistas” members got it so right that they were nominated five times for the 2003 Latin Grammy, where the album won the Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album award. While “contemporary pop” could be a suitable designation for “Tribalistas,” it also revolves around MPB elements (with the omnipresence of the acoustic guitar), with an often discrete Afro-Brazilian percussion (a likely fingerprint of the Bahian musician Carlinhos Brown) to talk about love. The smooth-but-present personality of “Tribalistas” arrangements, as well as the encounter between Monte’s high notes and Antunes’s lows, sound right on point. Of the album’s several hits, the opening track “Carnavália” is a delight, investing us with all the stimuli that a carnival love story is capable of. A true love letter, “Velha Infância,” is intense verbally and aesthetically. The absolute hit of the album, “Já Sei Namorar,” is a danceable satire of relationships and conventions in the contemporary world. At the same time, “Tribalistas” is a fun manifest of what the trio stands for: they don’t want “to be right, to be sure, to be sane, or to be religious.”

Beatriz Miranda

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