A Momento in Time

31 03 2007

Bebel Gilberto

By Derek Beres

It was impossible not to fall in love with Tanto Tempo. The light and deft movement of simple Brazilian chords, so reminiscent of a sonic industry her father, Joao, helped create, immediately drew you in. It was an album you knew your entire life even though it was produced in 2000. There was something familiar and comforting; even if you couldn’t speak a word of Portuguese, you knew what she was singing. Oh, there’s a broken heart. Look, a sunshine breaking the coast. But there was something new in there, and not only an update on the occasional strains of her mother’s voice. Bebel Gilberto became your best friend instantly, the one that knows all the secrets you didn’t even know you kept.

That’s how it felt last week when I stepped into her apartment to speak with her on a piece for MTV Urge. After a hug, she offered me two pieces of vinyl. She was told I was also a DJ, and wanted to break bread immediately. I was thankful. As we sat and talked, about Brazilian music, American music, more music and other topics of life – inspiration, U2 concerts and creative longings – the conversation would wrap back into its original idea: living in the moment. That is the theory and trademark of her third album, Momento (Six Degrees), as well as how she is defining herself these days.

It’s a good way to go about living, I thought and think. What attracted me most to her, as this quality does in each interviewee that obtains it, is her presence with both the person in front of her, as well as within the music she creates. When you hear a Bebel song, you know it’s her singing. That’s a special and rare trait, and why you feel so connected to the artists you love most. Apparently a few million people in this world feel the same, judging by the incredible number of albums she’s sold. There’s good reason. Her music warrants attention.

With an April 24 release date, Momento will be another moment for her. Like Tanto Tempo and Bebel Gilberto, you’ll immediately know and embrace the record. The title track is too delicious not to devour. You feel like you’re inside her heart with each breathy syllable. More importantly, you feel like you’re inside your own, and that makes you want to feel it again, and again. You’ll want to crawl inside each of the eleven tracks, the melancholic “Words,” the effervescent “Azul” and dexterous, almost Caribbean “Tranquilo.” Look for the album in a few weeks, although chances are it will find you somehow: in a coffee shop, a random bedroom window or perhaps in sleep. That’s where it seems to rise from, and the duskiness will settle, and soothe.

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