Today the 165th post of GoldyRhox, classic pop rock, as the Worldcup plays out these weeks i thought it fitting to show in the darklight today another Brazilian Megastar in this case the Queen of Axe (= a popular music genre originating in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil approximately in 1986, fusing different Afro-Caribbean genres, such as Marcha, Reggae, and Calypso. It also includes influences of Brazilian music such as Frevo, Forró and Carixada.) The word "axé" comes from a Yoruba religious greeting used in the Candomblé and Umbanda religions that means "soul", "light", "spirit" or "good vibration".
Since her breakthrough, today's mystery artist has become one of the best known Brazilian female singers, selling over 20 million albums worldwide. She is also the Brazilian female performer with most #1 hits (14) in the country. She grew up in a middle class household in the Brotas neighborhood of Salvador with her four siblings. A trouble-maker as a child, she was nicknamed "drip-fire". To the unease of her parents, she started singing in local bars age 15, beginning in 1980. She made her trio elétrico debut soon afterward, during the 1981 carnival. Her zeal for dance eventually led her to the Federal University of Bahia, where she enrolled in the Dance School in 1984. A year later she married electronic engineer Zalther Póvoas and became a mother, giving birth to Gabriel Almeida Póvoas. A year after later she had another child, daughter Giovana Almeida Póvoas 12 years later they divorced. Last year she married a woman journalist Malu Verçosa....
Her self-titled debut album was released in 1991 through independent record company Eldorado. The lead single of the album, "Swing da Cor", which features Olodum, became a number-one hit in Brazil, and the album was soon known as Swing da Cor. Another song from the album, "Menino do Pelô", which also features Olodum, became Mercury's second top-ten hit in Brazil, charting at number four. On the following year, Mercury shut off from the record company and, ever since, produces her own albums to negotiate the distribution of them later with the labels that are interested. In 1992, Mercury became an independent artist, which means she would start to produce her own albums and sell them to record companies (since then, she has founded a production company called Canto da Cidade and Páginas do Mar, a publishing house). That same year, O Canto da Cidade was released through Sony. The title track became a number-one hit in Brazil for months. The album gave Mercury the distinction of being the first singer to sell more than two million copies in Brazil...
In 1994, Música de Rua was released, the album was received with lukewarm reviews, with some critics complaining about the similarities between this album and its predecessor. Nevertheless, the album was very well received by the public, selling more than one million copies
In 1996, Feijão com Arroz was released, this album was much more well received by the critics than its predecessor. It is her second best selling album, behind only O Canto da Cidade. In 2000, she released her fifth studio album, today's mystery album, the album sold almost a million copies and produced two number-one singles. The following year, Mercury released Sou de Qualquer Lugar the album sold half of its predecessor, but was able to produce the number-one single "Mutante"
In 2004, Carnaval Eletrônico was released for the recording of this album, she invited DJs and producers of electronic music in Brazil, as well as Gilberto Gil, Carlinhos Brown, and Lenine. It is a commemorative disc celebrating the five years of her having formed TrioTechno, the first trio elétrico of electronic music in Bahian Carnaval. The disc received a Latin Grammy nomination for best pop album of the year and she was nominated for a TIM Award for best female pop/rock vocalist. In 2005, Clássica was released through Som Livre on both CD and DVD. Recorded from a concert Mercury gave the year before at São Paulo's Casa de Espetáculo, the album is a sampler of bossa nova, jazz, and some of her biggest MPB hits.
That same year, her eighth studio album, Balé Mulato, was released, but through EMI. The album was very well received by the critics, with some even saying it was Mercury's best album since Feijão com Arroz (1996). It was not, however, very well received by the public, with none of the singles being able to chart on the top-ten; a large part due to lack of record company support. The next year, the Latin Grammy Award-winning live version of Balé Mulato, was released. Today's artist has completed her newest release, Canibália. Canibalia was launched in October 2009. afterwards she went on a big tour performing for 7 million fans.
Canibália, reaches into the future by traveling through the continuum of two significant upheavals that marked Brazilian culture forever: The Brazilian Modernist Movement spawned by the Oswaldo Andrade’s 1928 Manifesto Antropófago, the 1968 Tropicalia Movement launched by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso’s recording Tropicália: ou Panis et Circensis. Given her well known penchant to continuously innovate, it comes as no surprise that she, like her predecessors, would promulgate yet another phase of a passionate and intelligently articulated reinvention of Brazilian popular culture – Canibália. (an intrinsic Brazilian collection of Pop, Samba, Samba-Bossa, Samba-Reggae, Merengue, Axe and Salsa with a definitive Electronic base that permeates throughout.)
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Today's mystery album is the fifth studio album by todays mystery artist, released in April 2000 in Brazil. Two of its singles, "Ilê Pérola Negra" and "Como Vai Você", became number-one hits in Brazil. The other single released from the album, "Santa Helena", peaked at number twenty six. This is todays mystery artist's fourth best-selling album in Brazil, having sold over eight hundred thousand copies there.
Today's mystery album is a bid for the big time by the queen of axé music. By enlisting the talents of one of Latin music's biggest producers, Emilio Estefan, Jr., it's nothing less than an attempt to crack the lucrative American market. The question is, can she do it -- adding the gloss and sheen -- without losing her roots? And from the first moments of the first track, the answer is apparently yes. The snares and percussion are crisper than on any of her earlier releases, firing the cuts along with a real directness, while the horn arrangements have a real zip about them that frames her powerful, emotive voice, as on Caetano Veloso's celebratory Bahian "Axé Axé." The ballads don't go over the top, unlike so many Latin artists, and even the hip-hop flavor of some songs is never overstated, all due to Mercury's fastidious quality control on the material (as well as co-producing, she's responsible for many of the arrangements, as well as co-writing some songs). The result firmly keeps its Salvador grounding, but takes on an international flavor in its colorations, more than in the songs themselves, where the complex rhythms could be from nowhere but Brazil. In fact, the only piece that doesn't work, surprisingly, is a club mix of "Ilê Pérola Negra," tacked on at the end of the album, and done in half-hearted '80s fashion, accomplishing nothing except filling out time. While it might not be her very best album, the sonic clarity does her justice, and brings out the richness of her singing -- enough for anyone to understand why she's acquired a reputation as one of the major stars of MPB, Brazilian popular music.
Goldy Rhox 165 (flac 470mb)
Goldy Rhox 165 (ogg 173mb)
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