Crystal Illusions – Critique and Discussion

Which selection best characterizes the group's music at this point (early '69)

  • Dock Of The Bay

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Viola

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Song Of No Regrets

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Empty Faces

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pretty World

    Votes: 7 63.6%
  • Dois Dias

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • You Stepped Out of a Dream

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Crystal Illusions

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11
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JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Crystal Illusions – Critique and Discussion

Light-heartedly known as The Return of Dave Grusin Presents Sergio Mendes, Lani Hall & Brasil '66, this LP represents the second in a trilogy of heavily orchestrated Brasil ’66 LPs. Released in early 1969, it’s still unknown whether this orchestral pop direction was the invention of Grusin, at the discretion of Sergio, or some diabolical scheme cooked up high in the Bel Air hills during a Santa Ana wind-drenched 1968 Autumn. In any event, Crystal Illusions, is most notorious for unabashedly revealing two Brasil ‘66s: the well-known and quite creative Brazilian-dominated pop group; and its odd cousin, a nearly generic MOR singing group covering recent American hits lavishly arranged with up-dated Percy Faith strings, hip-ish chick singing – and garnished with a serving of distinctive Brazilian percussion.

Hmph.

Kinda Jeckly-Hydey, eh?

Of course, unless you can pull a Sgt. Pepper out of the hat such a side show will come off lacking continuity; and Crystal Illusions does do a good job throwing the listener through a few pop hoops. Unlike the smooth cohesion of Fool On The Hill, the new program solidly bull’s eyes Tin Pan Alley ala Brazil, contemporary Brazilian pop, the usual gloomy ballad, MOR, and something that may even qualify for some listeners as experimental or psychedelic. As with all Brasil ’66 LPs, when the performance is “in the pocket” solid – it IS damn solid…it’s just that after weeding out the performances of lesser merit, the listener is left with little more than a 45’s worth of truly rewarding music.

One scenario is that Sergio handed the LP’s reigns over to Grusin. Orchestral treatment notwithstanding, even on the non-Grusinified tracks Sergio’s piano is not the driving force – rather it comes across as one of many contributing instruments. In the new band, the congas seem to have absorbed the energetic and motivating force – quite a far cry from the piano and double bass dual-leads of the original group. Additionally, Sergio sings far less than on any LP since the debute.

Dock Of The Bay. The weakest opener to date, this one just doesn’t work. Why? Pure sexism: As written, the song’s content is wholly not convincing from the feminine viewpoint. Even Big Mama Johnson isn’t a believable delivery device for this vagabond anecdote. Additionally, Lani’s “hip” singing style is not authentic – seeming unnatural and too studied relative to the nearly hopeless, yet shiftless, feel of the original. Too, unlike the previous 45s this one was already a monster hit – and it was a posthumous hit for a revered cultural icon at that; therefore, socially, such a move may have been seen as the insensitive, out-of-touch work of The Establishment (and not the wisest cover choice for connecting with the late ‘60s under-thirty in-crowd).

Viola. This offers an excellent study of Grusin’s orchestration methods. Check out how he nearly saturates all available space with counterrhythms, countermelodies, fragment extensions and transitions. You’ll also note Dave’s “Brasil ’66 sound”: flutes + harmon-muted trumpets and xylophones; he also favours unison flugelhorns and viola support beds. He routinely leans on the high end – violins, trumpets, and flutes at the expense of tenor saxes, trombones, and cellos – although it’s clear Dave likes the trombone. Think of him as an anti-Gil Evans. While this may be an exciting exercise in one’s command of a studio orchestra, the results too often overwhelm the normally lighter feel characteristic of much of Brazilian pop; and in this case, such a robust arrangement truly smothered the band’s contributions.

Song Of No Regret. How ironic that the first wholly-inclusive Brasil ’66 offering has not a smidgeon of Brazilian feel…at least to this Anglophile. This doleful issue is quite appealing in its delivery and delicate arrangement notable for its use of sensitive oboe and harp (the latter’s use as a melodic instrument, not a clichéd glissandi effects generator). Written in 6/8, the song’s construction, AB AB AB [A=11; B=5], features a 2-bar extension onto each A with recycled elements serving for both Intro/Outro.

Salt Sea. Finally, Sergio follows-up a ballad with a medium-paced offering – as opposed to the usual carnival-spirited affairs. This pleasant song may to some suggest Lani’s vulnerabilities as a singer: the horizontal melody reveals a sameness in her vocal texture – wherein a few notes seem to lack firm support…though much of this appears a result of her avoiding the use of vibrato. Sergio’s absence makes this Lani’s first full-fledged solo offering.

Empty Faces. Though present, Sergio’s piano is not integral to the arrangement; as with the previous piece, this is essentially a guitar-driven feature (presumably Oscar Castro-Neves). I still hear the same vocal support issues, but to far less degree. Otherwise this brilliant piece is far and away the crown jewel of this LP. A+

Pretty World. This one is pretty much a dog. The distinctive feel of Brasil ’66 is wholly absent in this “saccharinistic” excursion: in short, nameless singing groups could have put their name to what is a very generic 45. The fact that this is one of those “problem songs” doesn’t help matters. Herb Alpert’s reflective, quasi-moody approach was lethargic and unaffected, while this happy-pill alternative is annoying in a Sing-Along-With-Mitch manner. Perhaps I’m just too cynical in my old-fart age to appreciate the song. In any event, those children at the fade make me wanna heave. A disappointing offering from the Bergmans. (For those wanting to know what Bones Howe’s Carnival sounded like – this is a good “average” approximation. Carnival could be both better…and worse.)

Dois Dias. This is so dominated by the orchestra that you’d think it was soundtrack music cut by studio musicians. The harpsichord makes its usual one-song/LP appearance.

You Stepped Out of a Dream. This chestnut recalls Night And Day from Equinox. I just am unable to see the light on these Tin Pan Alley tunes – all dressed up and ready for a night on the town in Rio. It’s OK, I guess, but just too damn MOR for me.

Crystal Illusions. Presented as a show stopper... Following the near 8-minute trek, most juries are not left with indecision: you either like it or you don’t. Of course, I don’t. (The author’s reading is far more reasonable, but it’s the Paul Desmond version, with Edu’s participation, that is the cat’s meow.) Actually, the first three minutes or so (you know, the actual song) is pretty good…it’s just all that orchestral psychobabble that goes on and on…if you’re gonna do something like that you gotsta to have the content, baby. Seems like countless bands, 1968-1974, went in for the 6+minute song thing – be it the self-indulgent, oh-look-at-how-much-more-important-my-music-is-than-yours prog rockers / guitar-centric bands, or arranging a 2-minute pop tune like McArthur Park into an ostentatious, haughty artiste statement. As for the case at hand, my boredom is consistent with the electric bass guitarists inability to play anything more than two different riffs. In all earnestness, I like that Sergio experiments and takes chances with the music – and he certainly did more daring and unique stuff in this vain than Herb did with the TjB; and as a result, he’ll always get a nod of approval for doing so, regardless of success.

Although Crystal Illusions arguably offers more musical variety than any previous LP, its likability is compromised relative to the 4 previous LPs. All but one song is orchestrated, and the density and style of the orchestrations may impact many listeners’ fondness of the vinyl proceedings. Programming out both opening numbers leaves a much more listenable LP – and further stripping the filling to the bare essentials yields 2 or 3 arresting performances. At its nadir, one is left believing that management felt it necessary to legitimize Brasil ’66 LPs by seducing listeners with MOR-laden antics. The “wish list” dissension from a clean version of the complete Fool On The Hill to just a few songs on Crystal Illusions speaks volumes for overall interest in the new musical direction. It would take Sergio another similar excursion until he figured out this was not the optimal musical path.
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Sorry, couldn't disagree with more on just about everything you've written. You once again have a couple of factual errors I'll address a little later (have some "live" music to rehearse here), but, opinion-only now, "Crystal Illusions" just screams "summer of '69" to me (and I was there, LOL). I remember to this day when my neighbor brought the LP home and we listened in awe to the title track. "Pretty World" is about as perfect a Bergman lyric as I can think of, and the arrangement can't be beat. More later when I get a chance.
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
OK, a couple of things--first off, the album wasn't released until August, 1969. My neighbor brought it home the day it came out and my sister, who introduced me to B66 when I was still in kneepants or whatever the mid-60s equivalent was, got it the next day. Also, how the incredibly lovely Edu Lobo "Song of No Regret," which literally reeks of "saudade," doesn't contain a smidgeon of Brasilian feel is beyond my ken, but of course you are free to your own opinion. In terms of Grusin's orchestrations being sax-less, ummmm....listen again to "Dock of the Bay," for one good example. :) Also, I believe he's using a glockenspiel, not a xylophone (especially on the accents on such tunes as "Pretty World."). The fact that Tom Scott does virtually the same thing on his orchestrations for "Love Music" would lead me to believe this was, and has always been, Sergio's call. As I stated on another thread, the "band" rhythm arrangements meld with the orchestrations (whether they're Grusin, Hazard, Scott, Alcivar, et al) for me not to believe Sergio had a very firm hand on the proceedings. Again, just my 2 cents worth.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Well, taken as a whole, CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS currently ranks as my 2nd least favorite Brasil '66 album (my least favorite whole album is YE-ME-LE, even though it has a couple of killer tracks). This album is that way too, and once again I find myself liking the the songs James dislikes, and (sometimes) vice versa.

"Crystal Illusions" the song is one of my favorite Brasil '66 tracks, and my favorite tune on this album. This is one song where the orchestration really adds to the proceedings in my opinion. It conjures up a "world" and by the end of the song, you're caught up in that world. I play it loud every time.

The two 'hit singles' are less favorite. The big thing I don't like about them is the production...you can have orchestration if the band is still out front, not buried, and in these two cases the band is definitely buried.

"Empty Faces" is a song I can really get into if I'm in the mood, but sometimes it just leaves me cold. "Viola" and "Salt Sea" are probably my other two favorite songs on the LP.

Overall, the album has a much more "cool" sound to it than FOOL ON THE HILL. That album sounded "hot," this one sounds "cool." I don't exactly know why that is, but that's the way it affects me.

I also think Lani's vocals are at a low ebb on this album - they would improve a little with YE-ME-LE and, and a lot on STILLNESS. (Why did she ditch the vibrato for most of this album? It can be noted that Gracinha does not use vibrato.....hmmmmm.)
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Just goes to show how different people hear differently--for me, this was the first time Lani was really allowed to cut loose, albeit on discrete segments, like her "solo" on "Dock of the Bay." I also think this is more of a band album, if only for the writing contributions of Sergio and especially Lani. This album, despite the English lyrics, is mostly Brasilian material.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
sp4197.jpg

Funny how we've got from "favorite song" in these Polls to "most definitive", unless I haven't been reading thoroughly, lately...

"Pretty World" was really the Hot Hit and the radio-ready throwback to back when "this band" first started...

However, as far as being cohesive, this album is really not... A lot must have gone into that Single, which did not carry into the rest of the album... Then again, listening to the "overproduced elements" in the rest of the songs, maybe "a little" had gone into "Pretty World" to give it that shimmer and sparkle, while for the rest of the tracks, "More was definitely not Better"...!

On the other hand, as I listened to this LP more, and more, there is a lot about it which I've appreciated... "(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay" really rings out superb sung by Lani, although it's plenty hard for this "Brasilian Group" to have "left my home in Georgia, headed for the 'Frisco Bay..." so perhaps by making this song more of a Samba, could have "left their home in Rio..." :goofygrin:

"Salt Sea", "Dois Dias", "Viola", "Empty Faces", "Song Of No Regret" and "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" do resemble the cover, as far as being "crystal" goes... Lots of up-tempo, mid-tempo and of course low-tempo surely offers something for everyone, though the sweetness of some of these tunes may cause cavities :badteeth: while the sad numbers can easily evoke a few tears... :cry:

Besides Grusin's orchestrations are the usual omni-present electric piano and even a harpsichord (on one track), as far as flanking the compositions with "orchestral overkill" and one such tune which should be notable for this device is none other than the title-cut, "Crystal Illusions"...

This version really cannot undercut Paul Desmond's more sombre and dank version... And somehow with the "originality" that its author Edu Lobo gives it, this song could'a really have been left alone, rather than seeing a remake such as this... Though you equally gotta admire the trippy quality and the chutzpah the group had in making it reach such a pinnacle, though with the "mighty-over-the-top" strings pouncing on this peace, equally show these guys and gals went full-tilt as the Over-Ambition invested in this song became a load of Bombast...! :freak:

I do enjoy this album, although "Pretty World" is fairly too distant-sounding from the rest of the album, on which Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 get more experimental (and please don't put any emphasis on "mental"...!) :laugh:

Just another dimension, which among its "coolness" mainly runs hot and cold, and mostly cold, but with a still-warmth from the 'Pretty World of Sergio and Lani'...!



Dave
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Mike B for Brasil said:
I also think Lani's vocals are at a low ebb on this album - they would improve a little with YE-ME-LE and, and a lot on STILLNESS. (Why did she ditch the vibrato for most of this album? It can be noted that Gracinha does not use vibrato.....hmmmmm.)
Mike, I wanted to be careful how I worded this -- given the legions of Lani fans here in the corner; nevertheless, there may be some technical issues at play of which ditching the vibrato is one example (and which may have been an active decision to more align her technique with Brazilian pop singers).

JMK -- Thank you for your insight -- as always it's nice to have an elder's watchful eye over the proceedings. In response: My major goof on the date: I meant to write the LP was recorded in the first half of 1969, (which I believe to be the case). On the other hand, according to the LP credits, Edu Lobo was not the writer of Song Of No Regrets. Regarding Grusin's orchestrations, I was referring to a "recognized" sound he appears to favour most often. Glockenspiel vs xylophone? You are 100% correct! What WAZ I thinking -- one too many cans of Schlitz, I guess!
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Hey, watch who you call an elder. :wink: My mistake on "Regret"--it's of course Sergio, one of his loveliest songs. I was thinking of "Vera Cruz" (AKA "Empty Faces") as I typed, and transposed (no pun intended) the authors. Speaking of which, I think "Empty Faces" is one of the pinnacles of Lani's lyrical contributions to B66.
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
P.S. Re: lack of vibrato. We talked about this eons ago, maybe even on the old Board, but personally I think it was a conscious decision and one which gave B66's vocal element an unusual sound for that day. In fact, Lani's more "traditional" technique on her solo albums sometimes leaves me cold. All of that said, her control on the ballads, with long langorous vibrato-free phrases breaking into gorgeous vibrato right at the end, is beautiful to my ears, and at times, eerily reminiscent of Judy Garland in her prime.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Dave said:
Funny how we've got from "favorite song" in these Polls to "most definitive", unless I haven't been reading thoroughly, lately...
Dave, I think you drank one of my cans of Schlitz!

[quote="Crustal Illusions" Dave]Though you equally gotta admire the trippy quality and the chutzpah the group had in making it reach such a pinnacle, though with the "mighty-over-the-top" strings pouncing on this peace, equally show these guys and gals went full-tilt as the Over-Ambition invested in this song became a load of Bombast...! [/quote]
Oh, my!!
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Just to completely "elder-fy" myself, I highly recommend you check out some of Percy Faith's latin recordings. Percy was one of the first, if not the first, to popularize Brasilian music and rhythms in a supposedly MOR format. In fact his first gold record was the wonderful baixo "Delicado," by Walter Azevedo, featuring an incredible harpsichord lead (by chance--Percy and Mitch Miller found Wanda Landowska's instrument in the studio when they got there and decided to use it on a lark, no joke). His mid to late 60s latin-themed albums, notably "Bim Bam Boom" (with the stunning 5/4 "Pretty Butterfly"), "Brazil!," (with a rockin' reorchestrated "Delicado") and especially "Black Magic Woman" (with his second recording of "Reza") are all wonderful.
 

A&Mguyfromwayback

Well-Known Member
Industry Member
Dave Grusin was an artist/label owner years later, but on this he was a hired gun - an orchestrator. Orchestrators don't 'invent' or produce the record - the artist and/or producer decide the sound. i'm sure he was just doing his thing at the request of Sergio and Herb........and by the way, "Pretty World" is a phenomenal song. "Nothing else to make but breakfast and love" is a great lyric, and it is an incredibly sunny little tune, but gosh darn it, what's wrong with that......
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
In fact, Lani's more "traditional" technique on her solo albums sometimes leaves me cold.
Same here...I prefer the looser sound she had with Brasil '66. On the new song "Dreamer" she slips right back into that mode again. Pretty amazing.

Mike, I wanted to be careful how I worded this -- given the legions of Lani fans here in the corner; nevertheless, there may be some technical issues at play of which ditching the vibrato is one example (and which may have been an active decision to more align her technique with Brazilian pop singers).
That's the point I was trying to make -- I was thinking maybe, since Sergio had used Gracinha on "Lapinha" on the previous album, he possibly asked Lani to use a little less vibrato in an effort to make her sound a little more Brazilian....or something like that.

Please note that I'm not dissing Lani's singing in any way - longtime readers will know she's right up there in my top 3 female vocalists (with Karen Carpenter and Christine McVie being the other two) - I just think on this particular album, the arrangements and the changing singing styles get in the way of the songs, for me at least.
 

Mike

Active Member
A&Mguyfromwayback said:
Dave Grusin was an artist/label owner years later, but on this he was a hired gun - an orchestrator. Orchestrators don't 'invent' or produce the record - the artist and/or producer decide the sound. i'm sure he was just doing his thing at the request of Sergio and Herb........and by the way, "Pretty World" is a phenomenal song. "Nothing else to make but breakfast and love" is a great lyric, and it is an incredibly sunny little tune, but gosh darn it, what's wrong with that......

I'm with you, man! Nothing is wrong with "Pretty World". It's a great song; one of my favorites.

Mike
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
JO said:
[quote="Crustal Illusions" Dave]Though you equally gotta admire the trippy quality and the chutzpah the group had in making it reach such a pinnacle, though with the "mighty-over-the-top" strings pouncing on this peace, equally show these guys and gals went full-tilt as the Over-Ambition invested in this song became a load of Bombast...!
Oh, my!![/quote]

-- :freak: :laugh:

Well, the "Bombast" tag is simply meant that Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 made a fun song out of, what was to me, something both Desmond & Lobo, in contrast, gave a more serious & purposeful bent to...

Perhaps this interpretation of the song was meant to "come out of the shadows and find me"...! :jester:



Dave
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Pretty World was receiving some radio play back in Spring 1969 - when I was a senior in high school - so I remember it well. It came across as a pop, Top 40 radio type song.

Personally, I have always liked the song and the sound of it. It had a cool, sunny, breezy, West Coast pop feeling that suited its time and place very well. I enjoyed hearing it when it came on the radio back then.

I'm also going to go out on a little bit of a limb here and say that I actually liked the Brasil 66 version a lot more than the Herb Alpert version which appeared at about the same time on the Warm album... :shock:. Zazuiera was on the radio at about the same time.

I like the much more upbeat and uptempo sound and arrangement of the Brasil 66 version of Pretty World.
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
Moderator
Crystal Illusions – Critique and Discussion

Light-heartedly known as The Return of Dave Grusin Presents Sergio Mendes, Lani Hall & Brasil '66,

Once again another stand on the A&M Corner soapbox. What a load! How worthwhile is a review written some 40 years later? We all know more now than we did then, hopefully. Forget what some verbose self-proclaimed critic says. If you like the music in this album fine, if you don't like the music on this album, then that's fine, too. I never paid much attention to what the critics said then, and I certainly don't in the instant case! :D
 

nightcat

Member
Two songs seem to best characterize the group's music in early 69. Viola and Pretty World. I voted for Viola for several reasons. First, I never thought Pretty World was that good of a song. To me it seems to be one of the safest singles Brasil 66 ever released. The song was pretty, but not very interesting... to my ears, kind of generic or bland. It does have the Brasil 66 sound however. I think I was disappointed to her this song released as a single after the Fool On The Hill lp.

Viola, along with being one of the best (if not the best) tunes on the lp, has what JO termed "Dave’s “Brasil ’66 sound”: flutes + harmon-muted trumpets and xylophones". This tune to me sounded like a more natural transition following the Fool On The Hill lp. So, I'll say it represents the sound best during that period.

I also like Song Of No Regrets. The melody, arrangement and singing is really nice. Great choice for the "sad" song of that lp. I thought Dock Of The Bay and You Stepped Out Of A Dream were simply poor song choices. Not a bad album as a whole, but for me, this doesn't come close to the Fool On The Hill lp or Equinox.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Steve Sidoruk said:
Once again another stand on the A&M Corner soapbox. What a load! How worthwhile is a review written some 40 years later? We all know more now than we did then, hopefully. Forget what some verbose self-proclaimed critic says...
It’s a distressing state of affairs when one is condemned for exercising earnest opinions.

Fascinating music will continuously generate interest and thought – precisely why 40 years later music lovers engage in such discussion, and one principal reason why forums like this exist. Generally speaking, people who enjoy contemplation, challenge, and analysis are eager to initiate discourse; and with good art, as with the subject at hand, there are always new and rewarding avenues to discover – exactly why new reviews are of merit. Personally, I’m thankful that many of us continue to discover, re-discover, and pass on our thoughts regarding music from previous eras. It’s both exciting and satisfying to know that music continues to stimulate appraisal and debate – be it Franz Schubert’s 6th symphony whose first review was written 190 years ago, or current conjecture regarding Randy Newman’s latest unreleased studio outings.

Referring to such a sincere attempt at dialogue as “Crapola” strongly suggests a degree of insensitive and tactless narrow-mindedness.
 

nightcat

Member
Steve... If opinions and critique 40 years later didn't mean anything, then this entire forum wouldn't exist. You yourself said... We all know more now than we did then. If this is true, then today's opinons may hold even more water. It's the different tastes and preferences that make this website interesting. Recently on another thread someone said... "Why are we arguing about this?" These aren't arguments, these are discussions and sharing of opinions. When I come into one of these forums, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. If they did, it would be pretty boring.

JOs anaysis of lps is coming from a musician's viewpoint. I don't agree with everything he says, but who cares? In this case, he launched an interesting discussion. JMK commented... Sorry, couldn't disagree more on just about everything you've written. An exchange of thoughts then took place and neither party took offense. I think their exchange is a good example of what this forum is all about.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I agree...

There is nothing wrong with free and open discussion of these albums, these songs, these artists, etc. The fact that it is 40 years later makes no difference whatsoever. Critical analysis of any artistic/musical/literary endeavor is always a hindsight activity.

Opinions and discussions are reasonable, stimulating, and worthwhile. I, for one, appreciate the interaction among others who have like-minded interests in this kind of music. We all probably agree that the state of affairs in contemporary music is pretty abysmal - so this forum is a welcome alternative. I would much rather participate in a forum where an exchange of information, viewpoints, opinions, and thoughts is available than the kind of nonsense that might be expected on a "fan worship" website.

This is probably the only website on the Internet that highlights Herb Alpert and the TJB, Sergio Mendes, Baja Marimba Band, and similar A&M artists as the focal point of discussion and exchange/sharing of information.

Let's keep it open and interesting. And that includes encouraging open and free exchange of ideas, opinions, personal experiences, and information. Especially information, which would be unlikely to be found anywhere else. Otherwise, it's just hero worship... :yawn:
 

seashorepiano

Active Member
It took me a long time to get this album. I'm glad I did. I like practically every song except the title track. Like others have said, Paul Desmond really nailed it. The version here just seems overblown and gaudy. I, for one, like JO's reviews on these albums. They need more discussion.
 

Mike

Active Member
I’m not a trained musician of even a credible critic, but, I love music and I know what I like. So, here's my 2 cents.

The Dock of the Bay – I think the orchestration really works on this song especially when the strings come in. I like the way that Lani cuts lose in the middle of the song with:

Look like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, yes


Viola – Nice song, smooth. I could listen to this all day while driving down the Pacific coast of Izu peninsula.

Song of no regrets – Good song. This song would not be the reason I’d buy this album but I could see it being used in a romantic movie sound track.

Salt Sea – Good song but not a stand out song.

Empty Faces – Kind of empty.

Pretty World – What a breath of fresh air. The keyboard intro is so easily recognizable, and I like that. This is a real toe tapper. This song puts a smile on my face every time I hear it.

Dois Dias – The obligatory song with the Portuguese lyrics. I like it; it gives the album some good flavor. It wouldn’t be a B66 album without this song.

You Stepped Out of a Dream – Oh yeah, great vocals! Another song where I like the orchestration.

Crystal Illusions – This song has some great moments but the uneven tempo doesn’t work for me.

Regards,
Mike
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Mike Blakesley said:
JMK said:
In fact, Lani's more "traditional" technique on her solo albums sometimes leaves me cold.
Same here...I prefer the looser sound she had with Brasil '66. On the new song "Dreamer" she slips right back into that mode again. Pretty amazing.
JO said:
Mike, I wanted to be careful how I worded this -- given the legions of Lani fans here in the corner; nevertheless, there may be some technical issues at play of which ditching the vibrato is one example (and which may have been an active decision to more align her technique with Brazilian pop singers).
That's the point I was trying to make -- I was thinking maybe, since Sergio had used Gracinha on "Lapinha" on the previous album, he possibly asked Lani to use a little less vibrato in an effort to make her sound a little more Brazilian....or something like that.
Mike -- One thing I've noticed as well is that most (if not all) of the Brasil '66 vocals are cut very dry -- with little discernible reverb; this seems consistent with many of the Brazilian '60s productions. I'm not sure how things are done today, but certainly in the LP-age of the '50s/'60s, "big and bold" reverb was almost universally applied to all US singers/singing group productions.
Mike said:
Viola – Nice song, smooth. I could listen to this all day while driving down the Pacific coast of Izu peninsula.
Ahhh, now your talkin'...for me such a Pacific coast drive soundtrack would have to include Like A Lover...with the top down, of course!
 
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