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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Back now with DAY TO DAY.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: Bebel Gilberto is a huge star in her native country Brazil. Her first album, "Tanto Tempo," sold a million copies back in 2000. Now Gilberto has a third album. It's called "Momento." Producer Derek Rath caught up with her and he has this profile.

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DEREK RATH: "Momento," the title of Bebel Gilberto's new CD, means literally living in the moment. And the music reflects the freedom how well her established career now gives her.

Ms. BEBEL GILBERTO (Brazilian Singer): From "Tanto Tempo" to the point where I am now releasing the third baby, it's a totally different story. I'm taking the time now to put my band together, and hopefully we'll be touring soon. But I'm going back and relaxing and hopefully enjoying the success of my third baby.

RATH: Very nice.

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RATH: Relaxed she may be, but with "Momento," Bebel felt the need to keep expanding her musical horizons beyond her Brazilian heritage.

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Ms. GILBERTO: Somehow bossa nova environment embrace to me as - I do have the (unintelligible) sometimes inside of me. And I do like to repeat that sound, but I don't like to call the music bossa nova.

(Soundbite of song, "Tranquilo")

RATH: The song "Tranquilo" is far from the accepted soft sway of bossa nova.

Ms. GILBERTO: "Tranquilo" (unintelligible) as I say, a rhumba-Latin trying to be (unintelligible) because for us (unintelligible) we always go like, we don't go to their world. It's that little thing between, you know, Spanish speakers and Portuguese and the little admiration that happens between them, but also a little...

RATH: Distance?

Ms. GILBERTO: Yeah.

RATH: Bebel's Giberto's range of influences shows up again in her choice of Cole Porter's "Night and Day." This time, a perfect candidate for a Brazilian touch.

(Soundbite of song, "Night and Day")

Ms. GILBERTO: (Singing) Night and day. Day and night. Why is it so? That this longing for you follow wherever I go.

RATH: Bebel made the decision to sing many lyrics in English rather than Portuguese, partly to make her music more accessible to listeners. But for herself, it can be a little confusing.

Ms. GILBERTO: I definitely feel more comfortable singing Portuguese. But singing in English I always said that it's like wearing high heels and lipstick, red lipstick.

RATH: Why?

Ms. GILBERTO: Oh, it's like, it's not really you. It's someone else.

RATH: But English is most effective on songs like "Close To You."

(Soundbite of song, "Close To You")

Ms. GILBERTO: (Singing) All this time, I've tried to hide all the things I felt inside and all my words have been torn. I want to be close to you. I want to be close to you.

RATH: "Momento" was recorded with several producers in New York, Rio de Janeiro and London. The group Brazilian Girls produced "Bring Back the Love," adding a very chart-friendly dimension to the album.

(Soundbite of song, "Bring Back the Love")

Ms. GILBERTO: (Singing) Bring back the love, bring back the love. Bring back the love.

RATH: Bebel Gilberto is about to embark on tour with her band. "Memento," her new baby, is about to take its first steps out into the world. She laughs at her own metaphor.

Ms. GILBERTO: Yeah. I'm (unintelligible) from depression after birth now.

RATH: Post-partum depression.

Ms. GILBERTO: (unintelligible), yeah. I'm going to really give birth of my, you know, the phantom that is inside of my head that is like playing live, whatever you had recorded.

RATH: That's when your baby starts walking.

Ms. GILBERTO: That's exactly the point. I'm actually teaching the baby to walk without getting hurt.

RATH: For NPR News, this is Derek Rath.

BRAND: Bebel Gilberto's album, "Momento," is in stores now.

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