Review Eliane Elias — Light My Fire


Composer, singer, songwriter and pianist, Eliane Elias is the perfect example of a Brazilian artist that has had a successful career outside Brazil. Based in New York, she has recorded more than 20 albums, containing a mix of English and Portuguese lyrics, though always crucially with a Brazilian vibe.

Eliane Elias’ new release is the album Light My Fire, an eclectic selection of 12 songs mixing jazz, soul, pop, bossa nova and Brazilian grooves. As the album name suggests, Eliane Elias does a cover of The Door’s 1967 hit, as well as other personal versions of famous songs from equally famous artists such as Stevie Wonder and Paul Desmond.

Brazilian music star Gilberto Gil makes a luxurious guest appearance in three songs, including the great “Toda Menina Baiana”, one of the definite highlights of this Light My Fire.

The opening track of this album is “Rosa Morena”, a very light but yet inspired mix of different sounds and instruments. The song that gives name to the album, “Light My Fire”, is the fourth track in the album and it reveals a strong influence of Brazilian music, which made me think that Jim Morrison would be proud of Eliane Elias’ “Light My Fire”, a slow and sexy bossa nova version of The Doors’ hit.

Before Elias moves on to another great cover, this time a sexy version of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour”, she finds time for some Brazilian roots and shows some of her singing skills in the classic Brazilian “anthem” “Isto Aqui O Que E? (Silver Sandal)”. Another remarkable performance in this album is on “Turn To Me (Samba Maracatu)”, a song written and produced by Eliane and Gonzaguinha, son of Brazilian music legend Luiz Gonzaga, and a legend himself. As Gonzaguinha himself died in 1991, Gilberto Gil joins Eliane Elias on vocals for this one.

“Take Five” is an innovative cover of saxophonist Paul Desmond. Although the song became first famous more than 40 years ago, in1969, performed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Eliane didn’t hesitate on making her own contemporary version of the song.

Another definite highlight is the last track “What About the Heart (Bate Bate)”, one of the best of Eliane’s own compositions on this album. The song is very soothing as the whole album seems to be. Eliane’s beautiful voice makes you fall in love with the album, and the last track being a romantic ballad seems to be the perfect closure to Light My Fire, a strong album, ambitious but never pretentious.

Artist: Eliane Elias
Album: Light My Fire
Label: Concord Picante
US Release: 31st May 2011
UK Release: 6th June 2011

Light My Fire is available from Amazon.

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