Music Review: 'Two Friends, One Century of Music,' Caetano Veloso And Gilberto Gil Tom Moon says simplicity is beauty in the new live album from Brazilian music legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.
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Music Review: 'Two Friends, One Century of Music,' Caetano Veloso And Gilberto Gil

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Music Review: 'Two Friends, One Century of Music,' Caetano Veloso And Gilberto Gil

Review

Music Reviews

Music Review: 'Two Friends, One Century of Music,' Caetano Veloso And Gilberto Gil

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Sometimes there's beauty in simplicity. That's how music reviewer Tom Moon feels about a new record by a pair of Brazilian music legends. It's titled, in English, "Two Friends, One Century Of Music."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BACK IN BAHIA")

VELOSO AND GIL: (Singing in foreign language).

TOM MOON, BYLINE: This live record from Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil makes a quiet argument. When you start with a strong melody, you don't need much in the way of production.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "E LUXO SO")

VELOSO AND GIL: (Singing in foreign language).

MOON: There is absolutely nothing Earth-shattering going on here. It's two old guys singing together and separately, accompanying each other on acoustic guitars. But the result is transfixing. Here's Gil, once Brazil's minister of culture, celebrating his home state of Bahia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EU VIM DE BAHIA")

GILBERTO GIL: (Singing in foreign language).

MOON: And here's Veloso with one of the many understated ballads in his songbook.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUPER HOMEM - A CANCAO")

CAETANO VELOSO: (Singing in foreign language).

MOON: The album features old and new Brazilian songs. A few are from the duo's most influential period, the late-1960s when they embraced rock rhythm and social commentary. Their "Tropicalia" record helped stir a cultural revolution.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TROPICALIA")

VELOSO AND GIL: (Singing in foreign language).

MOON: That's about a zillion miles from the dense, in-your-face clutter of current pop production. There are no gimmicks here, just bare melodies. It's almost startling to encounter music like this - refined to an essence, simple, graceful and complete.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SINCE SAMBA IS SAMBA")

VELOSO AND GIL: (Singing in foreign language).

CORNISH: Tom Moon reviewed "Two Friends, One Century Of Music" by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. It's out in the U.S. tomorrow.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SINCE SAMBA IS SAMBA")

VELOSO AND GIL: (Singing in foreign language).

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