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Album Review

Jorge, Seu – “Life Aquatic – Studio Sessions, The ” – [Hollywood Records]

Thurston Hunger   1/25/2007   CD, International

Viva Brazil. Portugese sounds obscenely beautiful to this foreigner,
sensually slurry and rarely in a hurry. Okay As Mercenarias has a quicker
appoach…maybe that is the beautifully obscene side? Anyways, whereas
the soundtrack to Orfeu Negro beat at the heart of that film, Seu Jorge’s
renditions of David Bowie’s songs ends up being a scented pillow, or tub
of hot water to rest in during the goof-a-rama of the Life Aquatic. Which
is so perfect, as Bowhead is the Man who fell to earth, Jorge and his
acoustic guitar are barefoot in the soil, already as down-to-earth as one
can get. This recording catches the little croak in his throat, and
the breeziness of his falsetto. Wes Anderson placing him in the film as
a crew member also was a sweet lampoon of the left-field nature of any
soundtrack, like seeing John Shaft’s band strutting behind him, hustling
the theme along. The songs here are at once recognizable and yet well
camoflauged. Try testing a friend on some of these, “Changes” comes on
quickly…but “Suffragette City” sounds like someone whispering to you on
a street corner in San Fransister, or I suppose in Rio. Replacing the
original alienation with a more subtle striving to seduce the listener
really showcases the power of these true re-makes. At the same time, we
realize how deep Bowhead plumbed our subconcious with these numbers;
better “Rebel Rebel” show up here, than trying to sell your nephew
a combination ipod/skateboard.

-Thurston Hunger

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