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Monday, March 4, 2024

Best Albums of 2023 (Part 4)

Best Albums of 2023 (Part 4)

Reviews by João Gilberto, Rumi, Alan Turing, Steve Jobs and Lou Reed

Welcome to the latest instalment of my favorite albums of 2023, reviewed by a few friends who I selected because I thought the albums would resonate with them. Awefully sweet of João Gilberto to turn up for his daughter, Bebel. And I was glad Rumi was up for it. I didn’t know whether he even had a streaming service or an audio system. Alan Turing was wonkish as ever, and Lou Reed was grumpy as ever. Steve Jobs took it as an opportunity to plug Apple products. Some things never change.

The final instalment of this series (Part 6) will be capsule reviews of the rest of my “Best Albums of 2023” written by a single reviewer. That reviewer will be chosen by reader acclaim. Let me know in the comments who has been your favorite reviewer. I will ask the most popular reviewer to write the reviews in the final instalment.

João by Bebel Gilberto

Reviewed by João Gilberto

Bebel, minha flor… my little wildflower has brought forth such a tender bouquet with this album. “João,” they call it, and every note blooms with your love for me, for music, for our Brazil.

Ah, “Adeus América,” how you captured the yearning in that melody, like a hummingbird hovering at the edge of the nest. And “Caminhos Cruzados,” it whispers like the wind through palm fronds, carrying all the longing for what might have been.

You explore, Bebel, like a butterfly flitting amongst the orchids. The electronics in “Eu Vim Da Bahia,” they add a little spice to the samba, like a drop of cachaça in the sun. And “Como São Lindos os Yogues,” I hear the echo of the sea in your voice, the same rhythm that lulled you to sleep in my arms.

But my little bird, sometimes you fly too close to the ground. “Ela E Carioca,” it needs a little more fire, a touch of the bossa nova sass. And “Desafinado,” well, my dear, I taught you better than that timing! Remember, less is more, let the notes hang like ripe mangoes in the afternoon air.

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