Bebel Gilberto – Tanto Tempo (2000)
Super Awesome South America logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming
Made in South America Artist #1: Astrud Gilberto
Made in South America Artist #2: Bebel Gilberto
My esteemed colleague, that illustrious Glaswegian HMO, introduced me to an interesting theory recently: if an artist is trying to ‘hide’ a weak track, it will likely be placed as the penultimate track in the running order.
The idea being, if a sub-par track is buried in this second-from-last position, any song shortcomings are more likely to be forgiven than if the track were placed more prominently elsewhere.
As the second-from-last position could be considered a burial site for such filler, it is unceremoniously referred to as the Boneyard.
Well, on Tanto Tempo, Samba e Amor finds itself in the aforementioned boneyard position.
And if Samba e Amor is a ‘boneyard’ track, sign me up for, (to borrow an Alice in Chains line) a big ole pile of them bones!
Beyond this track, the rest of the record is also worthy of acknowledgement. Perhaps predictably, the rhythms are delightful throughout. Bebel’s lower vocal register, perhaps in an equitably predictable manner, is never less than music to my ears.
She’s equally effective regardless of the tempo, whether it’s fast & fun (Bananeira) or slow & smooth (Samba e Amor).
The latter, as you’ll see in the video, is a lovely tune, with the sparsest of arrangements: one vocal + one acoustic guitar. One of my core beliefs is that the best songs still work in that minimalist structure; that Samba e Amor’s impact might be lessened by adding more layers only confirms its existing strength.
So while I think the ‘Boneyard’ theory has all kinds of merit, Tanto Tempo will have to be filed under the “exceptions to the rule” fine print.
Also, through my exceptionally limited Portuguese vocabulary, I’ve been able to deduce that Samba = Samba, e = and, and Amor = Love.
And while my exposure to this exceptional genre is almost as limited, I’m quickly learning that I love, or should I say amo, Samba.