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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

MOSQUITOS

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published September 13, 2005

Sunshine Barato
Bar/None

Bebel Gilberto's Tanto Tempo came about when a non-Brazilian producer, the late Suba, fell in love with the country's music, approximated and updated the sound with electronics, and then hooked up with a female Brazilian singer. Similarly, Mosquitos consists of the Brazilian singer Juju Stulbach, American guitarist/singer/Brazilophile Chris Root and keyboard/sampler whiz Jon Marshall Smith. While Root has described their acclaimed debut as "kind of a love letter to Juju from me," this sophomore set is more of a collaborative effort, the result of having spent so much time on the road together (they opened for Air). The result is a delightful cross-pollination of groovy bossa-nova gems and melodic rockers like "Blue Heart," "Shooting Stars" and "Love Remix." The songs are short -- they manage to run through the 15 tracks in 38 minutes -- but the arrangements are engaging and fun. They even throw in some furious Who-style breaks in the otherwise gentle "The End Ing." It's a sweet little album that will have widespread appeal.