Badi Assad Wonderland

Badi Assad is a musical middle child even though she’s the youngest in her family. Her musical pursuits were never quite as straightforward as her older brothers, Sérgio and Odair Assad, who have done incredible things in the world of classical guitar. While Badi also had her moment to shine with classical guitar, her projects have tended towards the slightly more eclectic, a multi-hyphenate genre of world-Brazilian-jazz-funk stuff. Wonderland is filled with interesting titbits. The covers are actually some of the most notable tracks: the rendition of "Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics has an ethereal sound that seems to fit the text better than the original, and there’s the strongly grooving "1000 Mirrors,” originally by Sinead O’Connor and the Eurythmics, where the crying sweetness of Badi’s voice pierces through the painful lyrics. This is obviously a very personal album, a true family affair, with most of the tracks arranged by either elder brother Sérgio or niece Clarice Assad. The mix of covers and originals has the feel of a "my favourites” mix, where the connective tissue may only be an individual love for the songs, rather than a desire for continuity. The closing track, a crackly recording of a four-year-old Badi singing with her brother, brings it all home in every sense. (Edge)