Onda Sonora: Red, Hot and Lisbon
Red Hot/Koch (www.redhot.org)
The latest in the "Red Hot" series, which raises funds for the fight against AIDS, Lisbon mixes and matches artists from Portugal with other stars, principally from Portuguese-speaking countries. Although the project has a serious purpose, the collection inspired the producers to have some creative playtime. So we have the nuevo-flamenco group Ketama strumming guitars with Brazil's all-women drum troupe Banda Dida as the sweet voice of Brazilian star Djavan soars over all. Elsewhere, K.D. Lang lends her powerful alto to an almost-operatic Portuguese fado tune and David Byrne trades verses with Brazil's Caetano Veloso.
The 22-track album starts off with several vibrant percussion-driven songs. Then, it slows down, using spacey electronic sounds and beats to connect Portugal's dark, soulful music with the contemporary cool of today's pop. With the recent U.S. interest in edgy Brazilian pop, these experimental cross-cultural tunes would seem to have arrived at the perfect time. - Marty Lipp
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