When an artist you don’t particularly like releases an album you don’t particularly like, it’s not exactly a big deal because the bar was set pretty low to start with. But when you generally like what someone’s done up to a certain point–when you’ve even seen flashes of unmitigated brilliance in their work before–and they release a stinker, it hurts.
So it’s not an easy task sitting down to Carlinhos Brown’s latest disc. I’d like to say something nice about A Gente Ainda Não Sonhou, and I’m having a hard time. It’s not because Brown is a bad musician, writer, arranger, or producer; when he’s on, he does any of the above as well as anybody else working in Brazil right now, and could teach any number of his contemporaries a thing or two while he’s at it. Problem is, his career trajectory has been a series of peaks and valleys since he first arrived on the scene with his solo debut, and this isn’t one of the peaks. Read more