1969 Reissue from the Pop Musician/Poet/Filmmaker/political Activist Regarded as “The Bob Dylan of Brazil”. This Second Caetano Veloso Solo LP was Recorded When Veloso and Gilberto Gil were Behind the Bars of the Military Dictatorship. The Albums were Devised in Part to Provide them with a Connection to the Outside World Through which Authorities Would Be Discouraged from Inflicting Any Harm on Them……..
One of my other Amazon reviews called Jorge Ben’s ‘África Brasil’ the greatest Brazilian album ever recorded; if there were to be a contender, this album would probably be it. Released in 1969 after the commercial success of its excellent but less cohesive predecessor and at the height of the Tropicália movement; Caetano’s so-called 'white album’ delivered two massive hit singles in Brazil at the time: the uplifting perfect 60s pop of “Irene” and the carnival-esque “Atrás Do Trio Elétrico”. The album also includes one of Caetano’s most famous and widely performed tracks, “Não Identificado”. It is incredible to believe that at the time of writing this song is 40 years old because it has defied age and musical trends and could have been recorded yesterday. It is everything good music should be: emotive and capable of lifting and transporting you to another level. If you ever wondered why Brazilian music has managed to transcend language and cultural barriers; albums like this are the reasons why. Now if only some label would release a remastered SACD version of the album and throw on his remake of Jorge Ben’s “Charles, Anjo 45”, released as a single in Brazil the same year as the album, then that would be the ultimate edition!……….ByOwenLondon…..
Just saying that Caetano is a good singer is really making an extremely simplistic analysis. This good Bahian is much more than that !! Infinitely more! He was one of the great mentors of Tropicalismo (along with Gilberto Gil and the genius Rogério Duprat), the main catalyst of this genuinely Brazilian musicality and an accomplished composer. Obviously, he is also a magnificent performer, who has always been attentive to new trends around the world and knew as few as possible to experiment and bring new elements to his music, which of course has always been very rich. When the “White Album” was conceived, Caetano already had an immense baggage. He was very well liked in his homeland and had already released two essential works: Domingo (in partnership with Gal) and the first solo album (with the classic “Tropicália” and “Alegria, Alegria”). Not to mention the remarkable presence in the cult of Tropicália Or Panis Et Circensis (landmark of a whole generation) and the fourth place in the International Festival of Song of 1967. In short, an artist already awarded, but still on the rise. And so that everything went well, the best musicians of the time, or at least those who were most involved with the tropicalist movement, were cast, among them Gilberto Gil (on guitar), the “wizard” Lanny Gordin (on guitar) , Sérgio Barroso (bass), Wilson das Neves (drums) and Chiquinho de Moraes (piano / organ), all with the supervision of the most respected Manoel Barenbein and the truly unequaled Rogério Duprat. Timaço! The energy of the album is so good that even Gil’s mistake (after the first chorus) was beautiful. By the way, one of the coolest mistakes in history! Of course, I am referring to the fantastic “Irene”, a sweet song, soft, imperfect, but with an extremely engaging harmony. Caetano, with his linear voice, really thrilles those who appreciate good art. “Empty Boat”, “Lost in the Paradise” and “Unidentified Object” are even more “round” and impressive than the versions of Gal, released on their first two albums (also 1969). That is, let’s face it, a great feat. The mega hit “Marinheiro Só” is so beautiful that it has been sung in several rhythms over time and here, besides the poetry of easy assimilation, also presents the inimitable guitar phrases of the great Lanny Gordin. Divine combination! The marchinha (or if you prefer, the frevo) “Behind the Electric Trio” is the most dancing of the disc and must have packed many carnivals around. A really good trail. Caetano’s immense talent is more than evident in “Carolina” of Chico Buarque de Hollanda and in the classic “Cambalache”, a tango immortalized by the Argentine Enrique Santos Discépolo (later re-recorded by other Brazilian artists). The latter has a language very similar to the song “The Argonauts”. At least the same musical aesthetics. Already “Summer Rain” (by Fernando Lôbo) have a very own suingue Bossa Nova, which still gave the “air of grace” in Brazilian music and with great force, by the way. And what about “Acrylic”? Beautiful text! Not much to say, just listen! And finally, psych rock “Alfômega”, which brings another (beautiful) influence of Gil and Caetano, Lou Reed and his Velvet Underground. Even the voice timbre is identical, impressive! Looking at the general context, it is really complex to say that the “White Album” is the best of Caetano. Any album by any artist would be incomplete if they lacked songs from the level of “Joy, Joy”, “London London”, “I Want This Woman So Even”, “Prayer to Time”, among others. Now, we can say that this work is the most emblematic of his entire career, or at least, what most “exudes” creativity, genius and the core of the tropicalist movement, which so many good fruits have generated for Brazilian art. Definitely an album with SIGNATURE (including literal), of a complete and admirable musician, capable of generating emotion and pleasure, mainly with his blessed voice. ………By Fabiano Oliveira……………………
This fantastic album continues down the musical path of the Tropicalism movement, begun on his first eponymous solo release and on the collective album “Tropicália - Ou Panis Et Circensis.” After the passing of the institutional act n.5 at the end of 1968, artistic freedom in Brazil became very limited. The radical ideas presented in Tropicalism resulted in the arrest of Caetano and Gilberto Gil for allegedly disrespecting the Brazilian flag and national anthem. While in confinement in Salvador, Caetano recorded the guitar and vocal parts of this album and then sent them to São Paulo for Rogério Duprat to make the arrangements. Released in 1969, it is the only album to not have Caetano’s picture (his characteristic head of hair was shaved by the military after the arrest), featuring instead his signature on an all-white cover. The tracks display a wide range of styles, from traditional Brazilian rhythms to tango to Beatles-inspired psychedelia. This album still sounds amazingly fresh today, and should appeal to fans of other genre-mixing acts such as Beck, Frank Zappa, David Byrne, and Ween. With the recent renewed interest in fellow Tropicalists like Os Mutantes and Tom Zé, hopefully we will eventually see Caetano’s early Brazilian releases become more widely available here in the states. In the meantime, treat yourself to this disc and experience one of the most innovative Brazilian artists in perhaps his most creative period………….ByMichael Sean…………..
If you are just starting to collect Caetano’s work, this album should be among the first few that you buy. It is loaded with history, and shows his versatility as very few other of his albums do. In many ways, it is like the 1967 album on steroids. It’s what happens when you mix Caetano’s young, budding genius with a prison sentence. The Empty Boat is one of his greatest songs ever, which is remarkable in that it was his first English song. Os Argonautas, Irene, and Carolina are also classics. Be warned that Acrilírico is Caetano’s Revolution 9. Comparisons could be made to the Beatles’ Revolver and Dylan’s Bringing it All Back Home to emphasize what a defining event this album is. Even if you aren’t a big fan of Caetano’s early work, this album should be bought for historical perspective, at the very least………..ByChristopher Carton………
Most of the breakthrough recordings of the Tropicalia movement had been made by the time Caetano recorded this disc, and the hindsight allowed him to cannibalize those recordings as the original recordings cannibalized a vast range of influences: “Sergeant Pepper”, Hollywood’s orchestral kitsch take on Latin American music, European and African styles which had entered into the bottomless syncretisation of Brazilian society, and the more obtuse elements of the classical music tradition, especially as formed by maestro Rogerio Duprat, who arranged this disc and many of the other Tropicalia discs as well. The weight of this contradictory mass is sometimes felt, but for the most part the tracks flow seamlessly from one to the next. Recorded not long before he and Gilberto Gil were expatriated, Veloso’s lyrics reveal a more experienced activist than the one who recorded “It’s Prohibited to Prohibit” with The Mutantes, which is a roundabout way of saying they are more subtle, depending on metaphors such as The Empty Boat and The Argonauts, rather than the broader statements he had made a couple of years earlier. A suave avant-gardism tinted by populist sentiment is at the core of Veloso’s best work, and this disc solidly belongs in that category………..ByDerrick Smith………….
An absolute masterpiece. One of Veloso’s sweetest, most delectable albums. Essential listening to anyone who wants to check him out. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED………..ByDJ Joe Sixpack……………….
In the case of Caetano Veloso, his fourth album is considered the most revered, Transa of 1972, but in my opinion the 1969 (known as the White Album) is the most extraordinary. Let’s say it’s the most hallucinogenic of his career, a true psychedelic trip. With Arrangements of master Rogério Duprat, the album had the bases and voices recorded in a precarious studio in Salvador and the instruments and orchestration in São Paulo, with a spectacular band. By judicial determination, Caetano at the time was forbidden to leave Bahia, so Duprat had the idea of recording the album in that way.
Irene opens the album, music she did for her sister. With a very regionalist footprint, where the guitar and the flute stand out in the arrangements with a psychedelia thing.
The next track is Tropicalista The Empty Boat , in it is characteristic the arrangement of Rogério, where it goes through tense climates and somber, as well as the very melancholic lyrics; Shortly afterwards comes Marinheiro Só, a song from the Bahia folk that Caetano adapted, with a female choir the whole time and then a bass and drums groovando and a wah-wah hypnotizing guitar.
Lost in the paradise is another crazy track of the album, where it starts in a very calm climate and is getting very acid at the end, with a guitar solo of shiver and a well funkeada metaleira; Then comes Behind the Electric Trio which is the most crazy carnival ever made, with a fuzz guitar making the arrangement throughout the song.
The Side A ends with The Argonauts , a tribute that Caetano lends to Portuguese music, because it refers a lot to fado.Tem a strong lyrics based on the poem of Fernando Pessoa, where the refrain is a quote from it: “Navigating is accurate; Living is not necessary. ” Carolina , Chico Buarque’s song, opens the B side, only to the voice and guitar; Soon after comes Cambalache, a traditional Argentinean tango Enrique Santos Discépolo, with a beautiful arrangement of strings.
Unidentified Object is another hit of the album, also well known in the voice of Gal Costa; Then comes a sad samba Summer rages that speaks of a delusion, with a marked guitar, matchbox drumming percussion, rhythm, flutes and strings in the background.
The penultimate track is the most surreal, Acrilírico is a poem recited with background noises, as if it had portrayed the urban chaos and beautiful strings very similar to that of the movie tracks. In this band, the fart of Rogério Duprat is captured (laughs), can observe in 1'39.
For waxing, Alfomega , well-tinkled music with a low grooved. For a moment it looks like another jam in the studio. Caetano’s White Album is a great tropicalista album, where it explores various rhythms and styles. We can hear rock, samba, fado, psicodelia, tango … Without doubt, a masterpiece and indispensable in any collection. I have the original vintage mono (autographed by guitarist Lanny Gordin) and a re-release of 1987 that did not cost me much, the reissue was present. Due to inflation in the record market, nowadays they charge a little expensive on this album, but it is not difficult to find………………
Tracklist A1 Irene A2 Empty Boat A3 Marinheiro Só A4 Lost In The Paradise A5 Atrás Do Trio Elétrico A6 Os Argonautas B1 Carolina B2 Cambalache B3 Objeto Não Identificado B4 Chuvas De Verão B5 Acrilírico B6 Alfomega