If you want to be one of those impossibly smug folk who have tired of new discoveries before the rest of the world has even heard of them, this is the album for you. Vanessa da Mata is going to hit in a big way: think Bebel Gilberto with bass and attitude
I mean she has already blown up in Brazil and Portugal but now the rest of the world gets her, on this her fourth album.
You know it is going to be big when you see that she is backed by Sly and Robbie on half the tracks, there are appearances from legendary stalwarts like Wilson das Neves and there is that track. The one with Ben Harper that is going to get hammered everywhere with its effortless combination of soulful lyrics in English and Portuguese dancing gracefully in and out of each other. No wonder it was a number one hit in Brazil. ‘Boa Sorte/Good Luck’ indeed.
Even better luck when you consider another track off the album also went to number one. ‘Amado’ is a gentle ballad featuring Kassin, lacking in the huge breakout potential of the Ben Harper collaboration but showcasing another side of the former model’s musical personality.
And there’s the reggae, not surprising perhaps for someone who toured with legendary Black Uhuru and was once a member of an all-female reggae group. ‘Vermelho’ is as perfect a slab of hard-driving dub beats set off by a beautiful voice as you could hope for.
This record really has it all. Breadth, depth, gentleness and party spirit. Invite a little more Brazil into your life.
Vanessa da Mata performs her second ever date in London at Koko on 26 April 2009 as part of La Linea.
To find out more about her less-than-successful first visit, hop on over to our friends at Jungle Drums