Expectations are dangerous beasts; anyone expecting an update of Brazilian vocalist Cibelle's debut is in for a shock. Fortunately, no one will feel let down -- The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves proves as ingenious as the title. Whereas the killer Cibelle was the very definition of post-Suba electronica, The Shine borrows from 50 years of Brazilian stylings in the creation of something utterly unique. The fun, wistful "London, London," a call-and-response English track with Devendra Banhart, is reminiscent of the bossa nova Gilberto made famous; "Arrête là, Menina," with Seu Jorge, is equally impressive. And a distorted, Mutantes-esque "Mad Man Song" features the most luscious hook imaginable. However, Cibelle's true depth arises in balladry: "City People," a slow acoustic number blossoming into well-articulated crescendos, and "Phoenix," The Shine's most heartfelt, heartbreaking number. With all the tasteful buzz and crackle throughout the record, the most basic still matters most: a guitar, voice, and passion for music.
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