Os Mutantes Haih or Baraúna

Os Mutantes Haih or Baraúna

Comebacks are rarely done well ― few artists can make the same glorious racket at 60 they could at 18. As a result, news of Os Mutantes' first studio album in decades was bittersweet. What the "Brazilian Beatles" did in the late '60s was ingenious in its spontaneity ― the São Paulo trio of Sergio Dias, Arnaldo Baptista and Rita Lee made the studio their playground, reassembling North American and European pop music with precocious talent and the support of a brilliant group of friends. Tropicália, the movement to which they belonged, lasted all of 1968, and most of its members have long since moved on to new sounds and approaches. But never fear, Haih or Baraúna is in no way a disappointment. In fact, it's an impressively high-energy, inventive release, and while it doesn't compare to the band's first couple of albums ― few releases have since ― it shows a band raring to go, brimming with new ideas. Bolstered by contributions from Tom Zé (one of the most interesting characters to emerge from Brazilian music in the last 50 years) and Jorge Ben (arguably the most talented), Haih or Baraúna salutes the past but looks to the future, signalling not just a revival but a new chapter in the band's career. (Anti)