Awa Yio

Even though Awa Yiô drips with ambition, it still manages to be a pretty good pop album. Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivan Lins , writes music that’s romantic but tough Latin American art-rock, with eclectic melodies that subtly insinuate themselves right into your head: By the third listen you realize how good they really are. Unfortunately, Awa Yio’s lyrics, written by poet Vitor Martin, are swollen with self-importance, and the record label has played along by tagging the English translations with footnotes, for corn’s sakes. Perhaps in reaction to the poor reception that greeted Love Dance, Lins’ 1989 attempt at an English-language pop breakthrough, Awa Yiô is stridently patriotic: You get paeans to Brazil (”América, Brasil”), to Afro- Brazilian rhythms and legends (”Clareou”), to romance at carnival time (”Ai Ai Ai Ai Ai”). It all feels noble and stiff, without the heady rapture someone like Lins’ countryman Caetano Veloso can put across even in untranslated Portuguese. Lins has genuine musical gifts, but they’d bear more fruit if he went easier on the Art. C+

Awa Yio
  • Movie