As a life-long fan of Williams' film music, I have only recently discovered his more "serious" pieces. Like many versatile composers before him (think Korngold, Waxman, etc.), Williams is able to function in both worlds, writing rousing, effective scores and introspective, yet extremely dynamic works for concerto and orchestra.
This is an uncompromising retrospective by Gilberto Gil of his career and successes. It may be superfluous for those who already have these hits in previous cult renditions (not the post-'80s fancy versions), but for those who don't, this album stands as a good choice. In simple, predominantly acoustic renditions interspersed with some spoken testimonials, Gil delivers "Eu Vim da Bahia," "Procissão," "Domingo No Parque," "Soy Loco Por Ti America," and "Mar de Copacabana." The dance tracks "Filhos de Gandi" and "Palco" are representative of his frenetic, consumerist phase. He also plays his blue for his mother, "Mamma," and a version of Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You."
Released in the year that Gil commemorated 20 years of career, this release has several rhythms with predominant Afro-Brazilian beats. The lyrics are again combative. After a vignette, the album opens with social criticism in the reggae "Barracos," the hit of the record. "Roque Santeiro, O Rock" is a rock about the urge of understanding the new generations and their iconoclastic preferences. "Seu Olhar" talks about love with a pop/blues beat. "Febril" has bossa nova in another song dedicated to social concerns. Pop and Afro-Bahian sounds propel "Touche Pas Á Mon Pote," where Gil highlights the importance of France through lyrics in French.