It is a collection of songs that popular Brazilian singer Marisa Monte has released under the title “Colecao”. Songs that were recorded between her 1989 debut (the phenomenal “MM”) and today, sometimes with added vocals, sometimes with a new mix, always with heart and soul. That’s the core element here: the heart and soul of the Música Popular Brasileira lives on with this 13-tracker which opens with a bitterwseet “Nu Com A Minha Música” with Devendra Banhart and Rodrigo Amarante.
We also get special guests like Cesária Évora on the melancholic “É Doce Morrer No Mar” and Paulinho da Viola on the equally saudade-like “Carinhoso”. The deep bari voice of Arnaldo Antunes and Marisa’s high-pitched siren gel masterfully on the beautiful “Alta Noite” – this is pure, raw bliss. A simple melody with a cute lyric and a light piano accompanying the two souls. Simply gorgeous.
The simple method continues on what reminds me of the best of German Schlager of the late 60s/70s with “A Primeira Pedra” featuring Gustavo Santaolalla. And the list goes on. There is the optimistic, playful “Dizem Que O Amor” with the unforgettable sambista Argemiro Patrocinio (Marisa produced a solo record for Argemiro in 2002) and the more pop-oriented “Ilusao” with Julieta Venegas. The quirky production on “Esqueca” fits the lyric of loss and sadness. Another highlight is Marisa’s duet with fado singer Carminho. Both excel on the angelic “Chuva No Mar”.
Strings and accordion accompany Marisa on “Fumando Espero” with its tango rhythm and they make way for the unprecedented highlight of the set: “Volta, Meu Amor” (from the 1999 “Tudo Azul”) sums up all the reasons why we love this music so much: a compelling hookline, a suspense-packed opening that segues into an irresistible rhythm and a choir which emphasizes the already stunning joie-de-vivre-like mood of the track. The album ends with her version of “Waters of March” which she recorded with David Byrne for the “Red Hot + Rio” album, sounding a bit out of date these days.