Zuco 103 


There's little debate that Lilian Vieira's twangy Portuguese vocals are the best part of Zuco 103's latest, on which the Latin-European trio mixes electro-pop-ish samba beats with bubbly Afrobeat and self-consciously cool drum 'n' bass stylings. Like a funky, peppy Erykah Badu, the nasal-voiced Vieira spices up already-tasty and tasteful songs like "Na Mangueira" with Sweet Tart harmonies and occasional squawking sounds. To their credit, bandmates Stuv and Stefan Schmid complement the Brazilian diva with subtle musical arrangements more geared toward harmony than superficial experimentation. Whaa! also benefits from guest vocals by eccentric icon Lee "Scratch" Perry. Not all the songs here merit comparison to the Brazilian standard-bearer Antonio Carlos Jobim, but the best tracks easily do.


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