Album Review

Nascimento, Milton – “Minas ” – [Water]

Thurston Hunger   1/18/2007   A Library, CD

Heart-breaking beauty in parts of this 1975 re-release. A cute chorus is
made more-so by being introduced by a bunch of schoolkids. Nascimento
often splinters his voice on falsetto moon, hung too high to reach but
I’m a complete sucker for those kinda strained vocals. That crack is the
human element!! Often the chorus is recalled and overlapped like a round.
The album is supported on the backs of studio musicians; and while their
chops are intact, sometimes the flute, sax and keyboards come across as
toooo technically correct, lacking that “crack” or flaw. Indeed when the
harp-strings are plucked on “Gran Circo” you realize that the happiness
and the instrumentation here are aiming for a higher plane; this is no
gritty favelalapooza. “Idolatrada” is another example it starts out with
a seaching lighthouse vocal in the darkness, leads into some chamber
charted orchestra, a whiff of the kids’ chorus and then kind of a sideways
funk led by a piano romp that connects a lot of it together. If you
isolated those sections, you would *not* think they would work in one
piece, but listen! To me the key is Nascimento’s overriding vision,
and the echoes of the chorus and how they overcome a potential big-ticket
bombast. The album has a gorgeous flow to it, and a buoyant spirit that
rises above those damned canned stings cresendoes, rises as high as the
highest falsetto will take it. You gotta let go a bit, to get this.

-Thurston Hunger

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