“Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda”
1. Guitarras Violinos e Instrumentos de Samba
2. Na Sombra de Uma Árvore
3. Vamos Passear de Bicicleta
5. Vida Engraçada
6. As Dores do Mundo
7. Na Rua, na Chuva, na Fazenda (Casinha de Sapê)
8. Sábado e Domingo
(Hyldon / Neném)
10. Balanço do Violão
(Hyldon / Beto Moura)
11. Quando a Noite Vem
12. Meu Patuá
All songs by Hyldon unless otherwise noted.
EAC->FLAC. Portuguese diacriticals removed from filenames, restored in ID Tags
Here is a record I have been meaning to share here forever and ever. Not sure why I was holding out on you. Maybe I’m cruel, or maybe I couldn’t decide if some of you deserve it. Alas I finally resolved myself to the idea that quite a few of you probably do NOT deserve to hear an album this good, but it’s unfair to the rest for me to continue hoarding it. So with that in mind, I bring you this wonderfully languid-like-a-summer-breeze of an album. In fact in my world it might be the perfect summer album, which means I’ll be putting it on even more often now that summer is just beginning here. Sorry for those of you preparing for months of miserable cold and grey skies, but that’s a ‘you’ problem.
So this is Hyldon’s first album. He would never ever surpass it. Although his early records are as a whole all pretty good, this one is just a monster. Hyldon first made his name as a songwriter and producer before becoming a recording artist in his own right, and its partly that meticulous sensibility that makes this record such a pleasure to listen to. It is recorded amazing well and mixed perfectly, bursting with warmth and clarity in all its instrumentation and vocal arrangements. For once I can also say I am happy as punch with the mastering job on a reissue, it sparkles like analog goodness.
Hyldon’s name rests alongside Cassiano and Tim Maia in the holy trilogy of Brazilian soul songwriters. He has a more “folk” approach to either of those, and those of you enthralled by the work of Terry Callier or Jon Lucien should find something to engage with here. But like a lot of great soul music from the 70s, the palette is stylistically eclectic. There is even a few whispy traces of “iê, iê, iê” in a couple places.
Hyldon’s limited vocal range may account for why he’s not quite a household name – most Brazilians are probably more familiar with the versions of his songs recorded by Tim Maia, for example – but it’s damn impressive what he does with melodies and grooves locked tight and nestled one inside the other. Like spooning. Strings, brass, woodwinds, acoustic and electric guitars, a crisp drum kit, cuica, organ, electric piano, analog synths, are all used very intelligently and strategically – sometimes all at once, while never overpowering the song. I’m honestly blown away by the production on this record. I could say “there’s not a bad song on it,” as the phrase goes among my brethren. But that would not be accurate, because the point here is that all the songs are REALLY GOOD. I can’t even sit here and talk about album highlights, because it’s all too much. If you want that kind of thing, listen to it and pick your own.
The reissue is really a labor of love, with previously unissued photographs and copious notes about each individual song. We get to hear about Hyldon’s fling with Maria Crueza and him basically blowing her off (“I loved her more like a brother..” WTF was he thinking? It’s Maria Crueza!!), about him hanging out on the beach taking acid, of songs taking inspiration from Schopenhaur, Machado de Assis, and Arthur C. Clarke. He provides details of conversations and events leading up to the idea for a song – such detail, in fact, that I sometimes wonder if he’s just making this shit up. But presuming he just has an incredible memory, in spite or perhaps because of his extra-curricular beach activities, it is really pretty cool for him to share all this info with us. His lyrics are not going to win any accolades from Chico Buarque – we learn from his commentary, for example, that his song about riding a bicycle with his girlfriend “Vamos Passear de Bicicleta” was actually inspired by his idea that it would be really cool to ride around with a girlfriend together on bicycles, stopping for ice-cream or to skim rocks of a lake, sing her songs in a flowery meadow, and so on. Who would have guessed? Granted this example is not terribly fair to Hyldon – more sober songs like “As Dores do Mundo” and the title track “Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda”, are not silly at all. In fact I find them to emote quite moving stuff I can easily relate to. What Hyldon’s songs might lack in formal lyrical complexity, they make up for with their sincerity – you can feel that he really means what he’s singing about, and I can’t help being charmed by that. The anecdotes he provides only adds to that charm.
My apologies if this post sounds more whimsical and ‘lite’ than others on this blog. Perhaps it’s because this album makes me genuinely happy, and there’s not too much I can say that about lately. In fact I have listened to this album twice today while preparing the contents of this post. Since I also tend to write the commentary while listening, I can credit Hyldon with any pleasure you’ve derived reading this. All shortcomings are of course my own.
I seriously went back and forth about a dozen times about the idea of including some song samples here. Even if it were just the A- and B-sides of the single released before the album. But I just can’t. This is a record to put on and listen to from start to finish. So you’ll just have to trust me and check this one out.
With the money from this album, Hyldon was at last able to buy himself a new shirt.
Oh, now that I am done with gushing about how great the album, I can find one fault — the addition of two pointless remixes to the CD reissue, courtesy of the group Bossacucanova. I am no Luddite, but I fail to see how their electronic treatment of “As Dores do Mundo” does anything but murder the song. I mean, it’s really awful. The original vibe just vaporizes into the techno ether. The second remix, of the title track, fares much better with its dub styling of the song. In fact, it’s actually listenable. I still don’t understand the point of including these. If it is some sort of nod to “updating” the relevance of the album, it’s utterly unnecessary. This album still sounds completely fresh.