Red Hot + Rio 2

The first Red Hot + Rio, from 1996, reimagined bossa nova; this one jumps off the politicized, avant-rock Tropicália movement of the Sixties and Seventies. Many songs are classics - like "Baby," envisioned here by arty soul singers Alice Smith and Aloe Blacc, and "O Leãozinho," voiced by Beirut's Zach Condon in his best indie-matinee-idol voice. (Both were written by Tropicália godfather Caetano Veloso, who joins David Byrne for the theremin-charged "Dreamworld.") Other tracks, like the kinetic breakbeat jam "A Cidade," by DJ Dolores with Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz, take the Tropicália spirit into the 21st century, where it sounds perfectly at home.

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From The Archives Issue 1136: August 4, 2011