On her first new release in five years, Brazilian-born Marisa Monte comes up with a disc that brings a mix of more erudite material and hummable, radio-friendly songs. Working with longtime songwriting partners Arnaldo Antunes and Carlinhos Brown (who also co-wrote most of the material on the soundtrack for last year’s “Rio” movie), she comes up with an eclectic mix that will both please and surprise her longtime fans.
The title translates as “What you wanted to know for real,” and it is also the title of the first song, which was previously recorded by Antunes. Monte’s take is more laid-back than the original thanks to a simple arrangement made around her ukulele. She also covers obscure compositions by Jorge BenJor, “Descalço No Parque” (“Barefoot in the Park”) and Dalva de Oliveira (Lencinho querido, originally a tango called “El Panuelito”), which gives us the opportunity to look back into older songs. Monte, however, is not about going retro. She gives songs her own personality and flavor, which makes them sound brand new.
Other highlights include “Aquela Velha Canção” (“That Old Song”), a sweet original ballad about the end of a love affair (strings were recorded in New York by arranger Greg Cohen), and the uptempo forró “Hoje Eu Não Saio Não” (I’m Not Going Out Tonight), whose lyrics are about enjoying some time at home.
“O Que Voce Quer Saber De Verdade” has Marisa Monte at top form. The long break was clearly refreshing, and here’s hoping the U.S. tour comes soon. (Ernest Barteldes)
“O Que Voce Quer Saber De Verdade”