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Céu 

Wednesday, Jul 15 2009
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South American vocalist Céu is probably best known as a featured artist at Starbucks. But don't hold that against her. Her second Six Degrees album, Vagarosa (loose translation: laid-back), is anything but tame and middle-of-the road. The backing tracks are actually quite adventuresome, from "Cangote" — which sways between bossa nova and broken beat — to the dubby drop-outs of "Nascente" and "Sonâmbulo." "Cordão Da Isônia" features lively carnival organ, while "Rosa Menina Rosa" is a moody, futuristic neo-soul samba. Through it all, Céu's birdlike voice soothes, setting a mood appropriate for the album's title. Viva nova Brasil!

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Eric K. Arnold

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