Published Apr 10, 2018Although self-described as internationally based these days, pop eclecticists Brazilian Girls came to prominence in NYC during the early 2000s, effortlessly exuding the hip, cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city's pop scene at the time. Their not-so-secret weapon was Italian-born, multilingual lead vocalist Sabina Sciubba, whose cultured but playful personality perfectly matched the group's borderless fusion of pop, jazz and Latin-American styles. Now, after a decade pursuing their own individual paths around the globe, the band have reunited for their fourth album, Let's Make Love, a winning reminder of why they were so beloved during their early heyday.
Sciubba is again the focal point here. Whether she's delivering tasteful melisma on mid-album highlight "Karaköy," or belting it out during more shouty numbers, her delivery remains strong and distinct, offering up intelligent insight and amusing wordplay like the putdown "you dropped me like a wet umbrella; it was not a very elegant move." As on past releases, she sometimes slips unpretentiously into two or more languages during the course of a song, a habit matched by the band's own stylistic agility, pivoting from the smooth disco chorus of "We Stopped" to the bossa nova grooves of "Salve" to the psychedelic bounce of the title track with ease.
The result is a fun, freewheeling album that nonetheless feels mature — and still very NYC as well (their last album, from 2008, was literally called New York City), with Sciubba sometimes sounding like a cross between Karen O and Ivy's Dominique Durand. Indeed, anybody who grew up immersed in the music coming out of New York during the start of the century should enjoy this return from Brazilian Girls. Let's Make Love is tasteful, grown-up pop music that hasn't lost its edge. (Six Degrees)