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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

VINICIUS CANTUARIA

By Ernest Barteldes
Published June 27, 2006

Silva
Hannibal/Rykodisc

On his new release, the former Caetano Veloso sideman delves deep into his bossa nova roots and re-emerges with an overview of the genre, in which he looks back by moving forward. On “The Bridge,” he claims that, “Everyone says that bossa nova is this/Bossa nova is that/It just is what you want to be.” He backs that assertion with action, adding elements of northeastern Brazilian music, and modern electronic sounds, into his musical blend. Almost all of the songs on Silva were written or co-written by Cantuaria, the only exception being “A Felicidade” (Happiness), a Jobim/Moraes composition originally featured in Black Orpheus. Listeners with a taste for well-written lyrics should certainly pay close attention to the English-language “Reentry,” about a love affair that is over but not quite over. On the track “Saudades de Você” (Longing For You), Cantuaria returns quite consciously to the simplicity of the early days of bossa nova, a time when almost every lyric spoke of nothing but love, smiles and the blossoms of spring.