Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Forro in the Dark

Album Review

February 1, 2007
Forro in the Dark

Bonfires of São João

Forro is a jumpy, accordion-driven, polka-like style that emerged in the hills of northeastern Brazil, so there's something appealingly incongruous about revamping the genre into a soundtrack for urban scenesters. The New York six-piece Forro in the Dark, led by singer/percussionist Mauro Refosco, leave the accordion out and open the sound up a bit (it's usually played by trios, not sextets). They write good songs, too, which helps. "Que Que Tu Fez" sounds like a wedding dance in progress; opener "Indios dos Norte" jumps up to get down like prime Balkan gypsy music. Guest vocal spots by David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto, and Miho Hatori make sense on an album with such world appeal, but they're mere icing on the party cake.

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