Juçara Marçal – Encarnado (self-released) (2014)
Comes across vaguely like a low-budget version of Tom Zé‘s Vira Lata na Via Láctea (2014), with more conventionally pretty vocals. Marçal is an excellent vocalist. The album’s major limitation is the “math rock” guitar style of Kiko Dinucci and Rodrigo Campos (Dinucci appeared as a guest on the Zé album), which more often than not uses the raw repetition of riffs as a way to cover up a general lack of ideas. The experimentalism of the music also falls prey to self-indulgence at times. Yet Marçal has a way of making just about anything she sings captivating, which often counteracts the overbearing (and mostly boring) guitar. The album improves somewhat in the second half, with shorter songs that have less guitar (and sometimes when it appears, it is more as a novelty and a contrast or change-of-pace, rather than with a serious “rock” sound, which works better). There are a few promising aspects to this album (especially the songs “João Carranca” and “Canção Pra Ninar Oxum”), but for the most part it seems insufficiently thought-through and burdened by the very mediocre guitar playing.