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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

MAX DE CASTRO

By Ernest Barteldes
Published February 2, 2006

Max De Castro
Trama

Castro is one of the recent songwriting talents to emerge in Brazil in recent years alongside Zeca Balero and Marcelo Camelo of Los Hermanos. On this self-titled CD, he brings influences from Rio de Janeiro samba, Tropicalia and others, mixing them with more modern electronic paraphernalia. The result is a mixed bag that sometimes sounds brilliant and other times is just chaotic. For instance, "Silencio No Brooklyn"(Silence in Brooklyn)” has a nice samba groove that blends well with the Hammond organ and the extraneous sound effects. "Stereo," however, tries a bit too hard to channel the experimentalism of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil from the ’60s. "Sempre aos Domingos" (Always on Sunday, co-written with Lulu Santos) is one of the album's best moments with its clever guitar licks and relaxed vocals. "Depois da Festa" ("After The Party," co-written with Nelson Motta) is a surprise—the song has a more laid-back feel until the heavy instrumental bridge catches the listener unaware.