CéU Vagarosa

CéU Vagarosa
São Paulo singer-songwriter CéU defies expectations from Vagarosa's first transition. By the unmistakeable plink of the cavaquinho, a samba seems inevitable, but the singer departs into "Cangote," replete with dub organs, tricky RPM effects and reggae beats. Brazilian producer Beto Villares guides a playful, unhurried vibe on CéU's anticipated second album, deftly adjusting each track as its own animal; it's as impressive as the beautiful vocals he subtly frames. Their talents fuse seamlessly, like the classic MPB sound CéU weaves into her contemporary one. Bossa and dub atmospheres combine gracefully on "Comadi," creating the unique, warm sound on which CéU drapes her dreamy voice. The bright cavaquinho, suave horns, flute and minimal heartbeat percussion of "Vira Lata" complement a sublime vocal duet with Luiz Melodia. Backdrops like Curumin's samba-dub drums on "Cordão Da Insônia," the brassy Northeastern Brazilian ambience with Siba on "Nascente" and a trippy "Rosa Menina Rosa" arrangement (a Jorge Ben classic) create a compelling, connected dynamic between songs. Vagarosa's gait nudges forward with reverb guitar wobbles on "Sonâmbulo" and the nyambinghi/electric groove of "Espaçonave," bringing the ethereal record to a close. (Six Degrees)