Review: Mallu Magalhães

Vivo (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  January 9, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


Mallu Magalhães is a teenage girl from São Paulo who was raised on a steady diet of old Beatles, Dylan, and Johnny Cash records, to which she added a precocious fascination with before-her-time bedroom troubadours Belle and Sebastian. Upon hitting puberty, Mallu grabbed a guitar and began composing catchy, folky tunes in somewhat stilted English and became a social-network sensation in Brazil with onomatopœic ditties like "J1" and "Tchubaruba."

Her rise has sparked a lively debate in her homeland between those who call this "mini-Feist" (meant as a compliment) a garota prodigio and those purists who deride her as a flavor-of-the-month on-line poster girl with little to say. In fact, her debut is an impressive, ambitious collection that harks to the playfully inviting pop of vintage Astrud Gilberto, Françoise Hardy, and Marianne Faithfull and comes off as far more sincere than similar attempts by "adulteen" stars April March, Holly Golightly, Juana Molina, or, well, Feist.

It also says something about our devaluated pop landscape that it seems so refreshing to find a young female performer who leads with class and talent rather than with the proto-sleaze of the slatternly Disney brigade.

Related: Dar Williams | Many Great Companions, Photos: Mumford and Sons at House of Blues, Live review: Matt Meyer and the Gumption Junction at Blue, November 11, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Johnny Cash, Culture and Lifestyle,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   IAN KING | PANIC GRASS AND FEVER FEW  |  March 16, 2010
    Just a few weeks after we reviewed the belated release of African Head Charge's latest, another, more recent gem from the always rewarding sonic laboratory of Adrian Sherwood arrives.
  •   JOE CUBA | EL ALCALDE DEL BARRIO  |  March 09, 2010
    Fania kicks off 2010 with what is sure to end up being one of the year's most important archival releases of Latin music.
  •   ALEJANDRO FRANOV | DIGITARIA  |  March 03, 2010
    Alejandro Franov is an Argentine multi-instrumentalist who's been involved in the more serious, and often experimental, side of the Buenos Aires music scene since he was a teen in the late 1980s.
  •   THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA | RISING SUN  |  February 23, 2010
    We're living in the middle of a veritable renaissance of "Spiritual Jazz."
    UK dub guru Adrian Sherwood and adventurous percussionist Bonjo I have been releasing their sonic experiments as African Head Charge since the early 1980s.

 See all articles by: GUSTAVO TURNER