Tim Maia – O Descobridor dos Sete Mares (1983)

Descobridor dos Sete Mares
Released 1983

1. o descobridor dos sete mares
2. terapêutica do grito
3. pecado capital
4. mal de amor
5. 3 em 1
6. neves e parques
7. rio mon amour
8. me dê motivo
9. olá (emoçoes)
10. essa dor me apanha

Tim singing

In 1983, many of Tim Maia’s contemporaries (Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil, that other guy Caetano) were releasing albums of…. utter crap. So how is that Tim Maia puts out one of the strongest albums of his career?? Because he was a musical demigod, a funky Buddha gracing us with his presence on this material plane for as long as we were lucky to have him.

This album… Man, where do you start? If this album had been released by a North American soul artist, and Tim was singing in English, it would have been a global smash. So goes the imperialisms of capital and language I guess. In fact it is somewhat odd that Tim, who could sing in English without any trace of a Portuguese accent (something that can’t be said for any of other guys listed above), and often had at least one tune in English on his albums, did not do so on this one. The sound and production on this record are also flawless. For some reason I have an image of Tim listening to “Off The Wall” every day in between mixing sessions, relaxing with a spliff in his favorite easy chair. Once again Tim manages to sound utterly contemporary with his times without forcing ANYTHING – everything flows naturally, no sense of somebody trying to “keep up with the times” (*cough* caetano, gil *cough*…). Everything here is a natural extension of the body and soul of his work in the 1970s, with everything — songwriting, musicianship, production — in top form. Maybe it’s more “slick” production wise, but not to its detriment. Some new synth patches, but plenty of organic acoustic and electric piano. And what could make Tim’s already-heavy-hitting sound even better? Kazoo? No. Glockenspiel? Nah. Vibes? Probably, yeah, but alas its not to be on this record. How about…. TIMBALES!!! Hell yeah! I have yet to read Nelson Motta’s book on Tim (but I plan to, soon!) but for some reason I feel like Tim just bought himself a new set of timbales before starting work on this album, because he just goes NUTS on them. It’s frigging fantastic. If I could put together a fantasy tour for 1983 it would be Tim Maia playing shows with Prince and Michael Jackson — with Tim headlining of course.

This album also follows the pacing formula that is common to many a soul record from the 70s and 80s (and maybe still.. I don’t listen to much new stuff 😉 ). That is to say — the entire first side is uptempo funky as hell get you on your feet and moving party down boogie. And then the lights dim, you get your chance for some slow dancing, and, eventually, well… you know the rest. Smoooov, Tim, Smooov…

The huge hit off this record was “Me dê motivo” , a woeful tune of love gone sour. Complete with a nice intro rap. This video clip, which I am thinking to be from the late 80s or early 90s, is pretty amazing. Its a pity it cuts off the beginning AND the end, though…
Watch this performance of Meu Dê Motivo

More Tim on YOUTUBE, an actual MTV-type video from 1983
the title track

This album has 237 hand claps on it.

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  1. Whoa "O Descobridor dos Sete Mares" is amazing!

    I hate to argue with you but I think Jorge Ben's Bem-Vina Amizade, which is from around the same time, is a better record…

  2. Hi Joe, it's been years since I've listened to Bem-Vinda Amizade (1981). It never struck me as strongly as this album from Tim does, but maybe I should revisit it. Either way that album is NOT crap, so you are right — it is very wrong for me to throw Jorge Ben's stuff from this era in with Gil and Caetano (who really were, I must insist, releasing utter crap…).

    Thanks for the comment! More Tim to come in the near future!

  3. Simply a classic! The title track is one of those that will put anyone to dance right away, no matter what language they speak. So good!

    Thanks for the copy, Flabber! 😉

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