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Fátima Guedes
Muito Intensa
Velas

Brazilian music seems to have a very strong feminine presence, especially when it comes to performers. Ask any Brazilian about their favorite singers and song writers, and the answers will likely include more feminine than masculine voices. Elis Regina, Dalva de Oliveira, Maria Bethânia, Gal Costa, Vânia Bastos, Elba Ramalho, Zizi Possi, Rosa Passos, Simone, Joyce, and Sueli Costa are just the top names of a long list. Combining both the talent of a superb singer with fantastic song writing abilities, Fátima Guedes surfaces as arguably the best feminine song writer in Brazilian Popular Music (MPB, Música Popular Brasileira) nowadays. That position she has maintained since she first became a household name in Brazil in the late 70's at the young age of eighteen years old. Her music has been recorded by an array of who's who in Brazilian music: Elis Regina, Nana Caymmi, Simone, and many more. Her own albums are highly anticipated and critically acclaimed.

After a four-year long absence from the studio, Fátima Guedes's intense and immense world comes back to please her fans worldwide. Muito Intensa (Very Intense), Fátima Guedes's latest release, carries the same quality as her previous works. Profound lyrics and touching themes abound. Muito Intensa adds new gems to the Fátima Guedes vast songbook of classics. To enhance the caliber of her own compositions, if that can be imagined, Guedes has new songs with other well-known names: Joyce, Djavan, Ivan Lins, Adriana Calcanhotto, and Nei Lopes.

Just in December 1999, I reviewed here Vânia Bastos's Belas e Feras CD. In that album, the song Namorado (Boyfriend), penned by Guedes, was one of the best tracks. Namorado could not possibly be absent from Muito Intensa. To hear the composer performing her own song is a special treat. Guedes can write beautiful music, and she can also interpret a song like very few performers do. If you have ever listened to any of her albums, you cannot help but wonder how she can so consistently release albums with such quality. The answer is, perhaps, she has the gift for song writing.

What a polished album Paulinho Albuquerque has produced. Besides the A-team of musicians and arrangers, such as Ricardo Silveira, Gilson Peranzzetta, Cristóvão Bastos, Zé Nogueira, Beto Cazes, Bororó, and Jaques Morelenbaum, there are special appearances by Zé Renato and Djavan. The cover art work and liner photos make reference to the title track lyrics. Fátima Guedes appears shaving her legs, putting on perfume, and looking very sensual. The words in Muito Intensa deal with a woman's decision to shave her legs, put on perfume and lipstick for the man she loves. Yes, it might not be very politically correct on the surface, but the song is, in fact, about a strong woman. She is not easy, she states. Guedes can turn the most mundane subjects in pure poetry. Even if she were telling you a story of slashing her wrists for the love of her life, it would still be in a beautiful song. She could not ever write anything less than beautiful harmonies and poignant words.

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