Salomé de Bahia Brasil

Paris-based Brazilian songstress Salomé de Bahia recently made a name for herself internationally by lending a little South American flavour to French house producer Bob Sinclar’s dance floor killer "Outro Lugar.” It is from that song’s resulting success that we get Brasil, Salomé’s North American debut and tribute to her beloved homeland. Released on Sinclar’s Yellow Productions label, the album serves as an introductory lesson in Brazilian music, with such internationally revered classics as Jorge Benjor’s "Taj Mahal,” "Pais Tropical” and "Fio Maravilha,” laid out alongside hits by some lesser known artists such as Rita Lee and others. While a few of the tracks — most notably "Cada Vez” and "Sambala” — carry a similar dance floor edge to that of her original hit, and others are pumped full of Rio carnival energy. What ultimate drags this disc down is the singer’s treatment of her chosen repertoire as kitsch rather than culture. No doubt it’s meant to be a celebration, but in the end it comes off sounding more like the soundtrack to some drunken elitist fundraiser. (Yellow Productions)