MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Bossa nova is back. A new crop of Brazilian singers is reviving the genre, among them Celso Fonseca, who's adding his own twist to the music. Banning Eyre has a review of Fonseca's second album called "Rive Gauche Rio."

(Soundbite of "Atlantico")

Mr. CELSO FONSECA: (Singing in foreign language)

BANNING EYRE reporting:

A velvety, clear voice, a nylon-stringed guitar plucked in lilting rhythm and luminous tone, a song somewhere between jazz ballad and folk confession of hopeless love; that's bossa nova. But in the hands of Celso Fonseca, it's just the beginning.

(Soundbite of "Atlantico")

Mr. FONSECA: (Singing in foreign language)

EYRE: It's not only that Fonseca incorporates samba percussion instruments into moody folkloric melodies, as on this song, "Atlantico." This is a singer and songwriter completely free of formulas. Even when he strips the bossa nova down to a double bass and light hand percussion, there's an irresistible, personal eloquence in his vocal performance.

(Soundbite of song)

Mr. FONSECA: (Singing in foreign language)

EYRE: "Rive Gauche Rio" is framed as a love song to two cities, Rio de Janeiro and Paris, but its reach goes beyond that. There are two songs sung in English, including "Delicate" by Ireland's Damien Rice. Somehow Rice's simple home recording found its way to Brazil. Fonseca adapts Rice's whispering, intimate tone and spare production style, but he adds a dash of Brazilian percussion, just enough to make the song at home on a bossa nova record.

(Soundbite of "Delicate")

Mr. FONSECA: (Singing) Why'd you sing `Hallelujah' if you think there's nothing to you? Why'd you sing ...(unintelligible) at all?

EYRE: As good as this is, the best of these 12 songs are Fonseca's own, melodies that just get into your head and make themselves so at home you feel like they've been there forever.

(Soundbite of song)

Mr. FONSECA: (Singing in foreign language)

EYRE: Fonseca departs from his careful studio productions in a casual performance with Jorge Drexler on Drexler's tune, "Don de Fleur."

(Soundbite of "Don de Fleur")

Mr. FONSECA and Mr. JORGE DREXLER: (Singing in unison in foreign language)

EYRE: Celso Fonseca's writing, phrasing and vocal delivery both honor and update the past. This album leaves no doubt that the peaceful bossa nova still resonates in a world even crazier and busier than the one it was born in four decades ago.

(Soundbite of song)

Mr. FONSECA: (Singing in foreign language)

BLOCK: The album is "Rive Gauche Rio" by Celso Fonseca. Our reviewer Banning Eye is senior editor at Afropop.org.

(Credits)

ROBERT SIEGEL (Host): I'm Robert Siegel.

BLOCK: And I'm Melissa Block. You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

(Soundbite of song)

Mr. FONSECA: (Singing in foreign language)

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