Review Alaíde Costa – O Que Meus Calos Dizem Sobre Mim


Alaíde Costa has been singing bossa nova and samba tunes for a long time, and is extremely good at it. The Brazilian’s recording career dates back to the late 50s, and the slight rasp that age has given her voice works in its favor throughout O Que Meus Calos Dizem Sobre Mim. The majority of the album, which has production courtesy of Marcus Preto and Emicida with the musical direction of Pupillo, is composed of songs written specifically for Costa. The fantastic horn and woodwind arrangements stand out in particular. Thanks to Costa’s gorgeous singing, this album would still be successful in a more sparse format, and the elegance of the arrangements only improves things.

The album begins with a beautifully disorienting passage in “Turmalina Negra” (written by Céu and Diogo Poças), wherein the mood of the horns and woodwinds shifts from ominous to soothing as the song makes space for Costa’s lovely singing. The woodwinds and horns provide superb additions and juxtapositions to Costa’s melodies, including a serene passage of fluttering flutes and a fine trumpet solo. Right after, the equally impressive “Nenhuma Ilusão” adds a vibraphone and calming background vocals into the mix. The vibraphone begins “Nehuma ilusão” with enchanting bell-like tones and ends the song with a skillful solo. The interplay between the background vocals and the woodwind section is sublime.

The captivating “Tristonho” has Costa tapping into a staple of this brand of Brazilian music: melancholy. Graceful woodwind trills and horn counter-melodies support her compelling performance. Although bass and guitar typical of samba-canção are at the core of much of O Que Meus Calos Dizem Sobre Mim, what follows in “Berceuse” is a bit of a departure. The addition of an accordion does wonders for “Berceuse,” and the guitar has a more intricate supporting role that does not adhere to the strumming structure of the previous tunes.

Thanks to its increased focus on percussion, the Ivan Lins/Emicida co-write “Pessoa-ilha” is another track that is quite different from the first third of the album. It’s a welcome change of pace, and the brilliant arrangements that mark the rest of the record are still very effective. Later on, cello, woodwinds, and guitar evoke an alluring sense of mystery in the excellent “Aos Meus Pés”. Costa shines on O Que Meus Calos Dizem Sobre Mim – this is a veteran giving a stellar performance over exquisite arrangements in a style that she has mastered.

O Que Meus Calos Dizem Sobre Mim is available on streaming platforms

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