The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves | Six Degrees
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  January 9, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
A Brazilian singer now based in London, Cibelle has found her own voice on her second disc for the electrolounge-leaning Six Degrees label. Unlike her Cibelle debut, which stuck to a more trad world-music bossa nova script, The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves takes an abstract approach to down-tempo. With a broad sonic and sample palette, her original compositions float in and out of structured verses and choruses to reveal shimmering veneers and brief, vivid moments of melody. Along the way, she covers Tom Waits, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Caetano Veloso’s beautiful “London, London,” weaving them into a multi-lingual whole. Despite this loose construction and arrangements that include clicking machines and hovering street sounds as often as plucked guitars and weeping strings, she makes the album a relaxing and emotional — rather than an intellectual — experience. Perhaps it’s her sultry voice; perhaps it’s the sun-soaked production. Either way, The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves is a modest triumph, a disc hungry for adventure that doesn’t forget its chill-out roots. Sexsmith fans love nothing more than using their hero as an example of what grown-ups who dig smart, sensitive pop should be listening to instead of Rob Thomas or Train. On his first album for Kiefer Sutherland’s new label, it’s not hard to hear why the Toronto-based folk-popster so often gets lost in the adult-contempo shuffle. His handsome melodies unfurl at their own unhurried pace, and his distinctive singing voice — a sort of quavery, half-swallowed gurgle — doesn’t do much to stoke any soulful-beefcake fantasies. But give Time Being time to be: in gorgeous, understated ballads like “Reason for Our Love,” he strikes mellow singer-songwriter gold whose old-time charms are worth savoring slowly.
Related: West coasting, ’Round the outside, Jackie Greene, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Tom Waits, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   UGK  |  September 18, 2007
    Underground Kingz is not quite an instant classic, but it would be hard to deny that UGK have reclaimed their throne.
  •   TALIB KWELI  |  August 20, 2007
    Ear Drum doesn’t reach the highs of that far more ambitious and sprawling album, but it’s a welcome return to form.
  •   SKILL RIDE  |  July 17, 2007
    All it took was a Godzilla sample and a simple, forceful “Simon says get the fuck up” for Pharoahe Monch to leave his mark on hip-hop history.
  •   THE HATE-LOVE-HATE CYCLE  |  June 18, 2007
    The field is already packed with newcomers and veterans alike, all aiming to knock down my standards of good taste and respectability . . .
  •   DIZZEE RASCAL  |  June 12, 2007
    Boy in da Corner may be the classic Dizzee will be forced to chase for the rest of his career.

 See all articles by: MATTHEW GASTEIER