An extraordinary voice sings extraordinary material
Robert Rosenthal | New York, New York USA | 08/14/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As she did on the 1995 album "Wave", Camilla Benson imbues the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim with the almost magical spirit that -- one realizes while listening to her -- must have been intended by the composer, but which has been squeezed out of the material by so many musicians throughout the last several decades who have molded it into a tropical cliche. Camila's voice evokes lazy and sensual days and nights on the beach that is at the heart of Jobim's material. Listining to her, one is trasported to a starlit night contemplating new love or love lost; it doesn't really matter which, as long as this music is the soundttrack.On this record Camila explores a lower part of her vocal register than on "Wave". She reveals a breathy quality that is at once envigorating and sedating. It is a genuine treat to listen to her. There is a very real disappointment to this record, though. As was the case with "Wave" the producers have chosen to use computers to provide much of the instrumentation. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't really work. In the liner notes, the producer expresses his hope that these songs and Camila's performances will be appreciated for centuries to come as classic Brazilian music. The songs, the arrangements, and Camila's performances will be. Unfortunately, the method of presentation -- computers rather than real instruments -- make it unlikely that these particular recordings will make the producer's hope a reality. It is a shame. One can only hope that Camila has an opportunity to re-record these songs with a real instruments. The computer instrumentation leaves one wanting more. Camila provides so much, however, that more is almost superfluous.Buy the record. Camila's performance is worth five stars. It is only the instrumentation that, for me, brought the rating down to four. (If a lesser voice was singing on this record, the compter soundtrack would bring the rating far lower) If you can get past the computers -- or if you like them -- this is a five star album."