True, Seu Jorge is best known for performing acoustic versions of David Bowie tunes in the Wes Anderson flick The Life Aquatic. But that doesn't overshadow the Brazilian singer-songwriter's original material: From sparse vocal and guitar arrangements to more expansive dance numbers, Cru is at once at home in, and threatens to utterly transcend, the nü-skool bossa nova genre from which it emerged. Jorge's compositions rely heavily on the timbre of his voice, which can go from a romantic whisper to a guttural growl and back in a São Paulo minute, with lyrics addressing society's fascination with women's breasts on "Mania de Peitao (Large Chested Mania)" in addition to more personal pursuits like "Bem Querer (My Dear)." But even without translation, it's clear Jorge speaks a universal musical language: Cru ("Raw" in Portuguese) is an ear-pleasing revelation that deserves to be heard by more than just world music aficionados.
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