Thievery Corporation – SaudadeCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Saudade – a Gaelic-Portuguese word – is a mysterious and elusive phrase, expressing melancholy, longing, incompleteness and loss. It’s this state that electronic DJ duo Thievery Corporation (aka Rob Garza and Eric Hilton), have used as inspiration for their ninth studio album as they return to their world music roots.
At the beginning of their 19-year long career the pair were drawn together over their mutual love for dub, boss nova and jazz. This latest offering harks back to their original affection for boss nova – a genre of Brazilian music developed in the 50s and 60s incorporating samba and jazz sounds. The result is a smooth, sensuous album with intriguing, mellow sounds.
Brazilian tones resonate heavily through the record with an abundance of samba beats, Spanish guitar and light percussion. A Latin “clave” rhythmic dominates the first half of the album with Decollage, Meu Nego, Quem Me Leva all centering upon this staccato rhythm, which does unfortunately wane into repetitiveness.
Not until No More Disguise do Thievery Corporation really start to wow, as low string drones and deep drums add a murky depth to the songs. Saudade is a track of cool sensibility – with its intricate guitar and powerful drums it transmits, for the first time on the album, the sensuous, sultry heat at the heart of boss nova. In many ways the featured artists whose vocals soar above the jiving rhythms make the most impact, particularly Lou Lou Ghelichkhani whose sonorous voice floats over the earthy beats like gossamer. The last track Depth of My Soul is the jewel of the record, it’s jazzy tones littered with gentle flowing arpeggios, and husky notes from Sanah Halligan sparkle with a mournful beauty.
Saudade was released on 1st April 2014, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Depth of My Soul here: