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New York City


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The result of nearly eight months' worth of work on their own and with producer Hector Castillo, the boldly titled New York City is Brazilian Girls' most sophisticated, dynamic effort yet. To be sure, the album contains its fair share (more, really) of uptempo party-starters: 'We just want to have a good time all the time,' Sciubba admits gleefully over an infectious hand-clap beat in the aptly named 'Good Time,' while 'Losing Myself' rides a go-go organ groove. Yet New York City also reveals a deeper, more contemplative side of Brazilian Girls' sound, one that Johnston says reflects the band's desire to 'actually sit down and write rather than just jam at the club.'Sciubba cites influences like Caetano Veloso and Feist. 'I think we were feeling like we wanted to push ourselves in other directions,' adds Gutman. 'We were interested in exploring a wider range of emotions.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good not great and best for already established fans Sept. 28 2008
By J. Wright Witcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This the third Brazilian Girls CD is another evolution for them - just as much as Jique was compared to their Brazilian Girls debut album. Words and music have gone from dreamy/introspective and infused with sex (debut), to edgy/political (Jique) to, in this case, verging on obscure. Established BG fans like me will keep listening to it, and it does grow on you - but not without effort. If you have had someone say to you, "Brazilian Girls are great - check them out", I'd strongly recommend that you start with one or the other of their first two CD's. As always, in order to really like these guys, you have to have fairly eclectic musical taste and internationalist tendencies - lyrics are in English here, in French, Italian, German or Spanish there, often within the same piece (and no lyricis in the liner notes -shame!). Rhythmic intensity, a trademark of BG from the beginning, is definitely still here, though maybe not as inventive as in previous CD's. I look forward to seeing Brazilian Girls live as they tour this - if you like live shows, do not miss them - Sabrina Sciubba is electric, and both Didi Gutman and Aaron Johnston are awesome musicians. The energy level is very high. BG have replaced their old website with a good MySpace page - tour dates, samples, etc are all there.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Too loose, too everything-at-once Nov. 11 2008
By Scott Woods - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After a first record that hit all the right spots and a sophomore effort that did not, this third offering is somewhere between "alright" and "okay". It's more experimental, but not in all the right directions. Too loose, too everything-at-once. Not as sure-footed. A few tracks work, but this mostly comes off as mish-mash of noodlings.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed. Sept. 21 2008
By Music Lover 327 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First let me say: the first two Brazilian Girls albums are incredible. I have listened to them more than any other two albums I own over the last couple of years. This one is a lot different, mainly because it lacks the rhythmic bass lines and instead adds some sort of tribal-sounding drums. Also, there seems to be less creativity in the song structure and certainly the lyrics are less interesting. I did not look to see who writes the lyrics, but for whatever reason there is certainly a down-turn since the earlier two albums. Judged on its own merits, this is an OK album. It is pretty typical for the genre, with 3 or 4 decent songs and several that I would rather not listen to again. I will probably not play it very often in the future, but I still have the first two Brazilian Girls albums which remain favorites in my collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Negative Reviews Are Bizarre March 18 2009
By voomer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I don't have much to say, but I want to rebalance the rating for this record with my 5 stars. I listen to so many hyped bands characterized as refreshing hybrids of international styles, only to be disappointed at the lack of creativity and, especially, good songs. Not this record. The weakest song, "Losing Myself," is probably the most like the prior records. Other than that one, the songs are fascinating, brilliantly and effectively all over the map. If only more bands lived up to the hype, or if only this band got more of it.
Brazilian Girls - New York City Sept. 5 2008
By S. D. Mason - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
New York City (2008, Verve) Brazilian Girls' third studio album. ****1/2

The band famous for only having one girl and not being Brazilian in the slightest have released their third album, a masterpiece entitled New York City. Sabina Sciubba, the lead singer and only female of the group, is essential to this album. Her vocals can hit any emotion she wants with only the slightest change, and the fact that she sings in (at least) English, Spanish, and French only heightens the aura of mystery about the band. I cannot find lyrics for this album yet, so I am in the dark for quite a bit of the album. Sciubba can be super sexy as on "Internacional" or plead with whimpers like she does on "Nouveau Americain." And it's not just about sounding sexy, she can honestly sing. Her Sigur Ros-esque vocals on the opener "St. Petersburg" or her soft, sensual performance on "L'Interprete" are stunning.

But we can't leave the rest of the band out on the street; Gutman, Murphy, and Johnston contribute just as much musically as Sciubba. Gutman in particular plays a strong role in the sound of many of these songs; as they jump from genre to genre he always adds a bit of his own in the keyboard or electronic work. "Losing Myself" features a one chord Manzarek-channeled keyboard piece, as does "Ricardo." Murphy's bass line on dance numbers like "Internacional" are unforgettable, and Johnston's drumbeats make some of the otherwise un-danceable cuts danceable. New York City is a flurry of musical inspirations and even steps up to the plate to imitate Kid A at points like the spongey computer backing on "L'Interprete." The carnival-romp of "Berlin" or near-mechanically charged "I Want Out" make for strange - albeit grand - changes of pace. The band's incorporation of jazz, pop, rock, and most importantly electronica are so well fused that they truly stand out against the backdrop of mediocre indie-electronica acts. They know their music and have done their homework, and that's what makes New York City work. (St. Petersburg, Losing Myself, Berlin, L'Interprete)

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