2009: 15 of the Best. #8…

December 9, 2009

#8 – Bebel Gilberto – The Real Thing

From: All in One
Released: September 29, 2009
Label: Verve
Buy it: Here.

Part of me laments the fact that Bebel Gilberto moved away from the Six Degrees label — she released some damn fine albums there, most notably her 2004 self-titled LP, which is one of the finest of the decade. But the fact that she’s on Verve now makes sense — a lot of great Brazilian artists saw some of their finest material released there. It’s a fine lineage to be a part of, and Bebel tips her hat to that past with spirited covers of “Chica Chica Boom Chic” and “Bim Bom” on the record. Her relaxed delivery has always been her strongest asset. She has a great voice to be sure, but it’s not as much her voice as the way she sings lyrics that continually make me want to jet off to Brazil, find where she lives, ring her doorbell and drop to one knee to propose marriage. The finest example of this on this record is “The Real Thing,” one of the most audibly intoxicating songs released this year. Sure it kind of bothers me that the wonderful production on this track is owed to that cocksure little hotshot Mark Ronson, but credit where credit is due. Stevie Wonder wrote this song in the late 1970s for a Sergio Mendes album and Ronson tips his hat reverently with a dense musical backdrop that recalls the sound of classic records on both the Motown and Verve labels. And Bebel’s delivery? Well, just listen.

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