Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Virginia Rodrigues

  • Sol Negro [Hannibal, 1998] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sol Negro [Hannibal, 1998]
Notes by Caetano Veloso, who's clearly stunned at the ability of the daughter of a street vendor to evoke "operas, masses, lieder, and spirituals," a response shared by many Lusophiles and every fan of the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir who's in on the story. The rest of us will be stupefied that such a "celestial" voice can exist at all. She never stretches her rich, Ella-like highs into a scat--though the few midtempo numbers have a nice jazzy lilt (dig that berimbau), her instincts are exceedingly solemn. Veloso is Veloso, which means he "transcends the distinction between erudite and popular" far more vividly than he thinks Rodrigues does. High middlebrows Djavan and Milton Nascimento don't, and their cameos give the game away. B-