Rose & Charcoal
Marisa Monte's light but authoritative vocals could easily make her just another Brazilian pop sensation, but her choice of material and the company she keeps make her an artist to be reckoned with. Producer Arto Lindsay provides innovative and breezy backdrops (mostly in the samba vein) for the poetically surreal and romantic lyrics of Monte, Nando Reis, Carlinhos Brown, Paulinho da Viola, Arnaldo Antunes, Jorge Benjor, and even Lou Reed. Many of Brazil's superstar musicians are present, along with guest contributions from Laurie Anderson, Phillip Glass, and keyboardist Bernie Worrell from Parliament, melding well with Monte's enticing and totally Brazilian contemplations on life and love. Rose and Charcoal is elevated from easy listening by the magical imagery of the lyrics, freely translated in the liner notes.