Ceu, "Vagarosa"

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The Brazilian singer/songwriter Céu debuted in 2007 with a self-titled album that drew critical favor and made her an immediate player in the Brazilian music scene. She returns with "Vagarosa," a collection of 13 tunes that will surely further her rise in the Brazilian pop world. The new songs possess a samba cool but go well beyond the genre. "Nascente," for example, grows out of an electronic dissonance punctuated by an edgy trumpet and a diffused, squishy percussion track. The song feels lethargic and jumpy-easier said than done. "Cordão Da Insónia" sings of insomnia and rides a reggae backbeat through a quirky sonic soundscape. "Comadi," a tune Céu wrote with Beto Villares, is a masterpiece of subtlety, from the funky bounce of the bass to the horns that come and go with admirable stealth.