Os Mutantes, "Haih Or Amortecedor"

Album Review

Os Mutantes' "Haih Or Amortecedor" may not be the Brazilian band's comeback since its '60s/'70s tropicalia heyday, but the set does mark its first studio recording in 35 years. (The past decade has seen a pair of profile-raising compilations, plus a critically hailed CD/DVD documenting a 2006 reunion concert.) Even with the hiatus, the effort is remarkable for its maverick spirit and pop unorthodoxy. Though sung in Spanish (Tom Zé contributed lyrics), the musical delights here are universal: "O Careca" displays the band's sultry tropicalia sound, "Querida Querida" is a big-band oom-pah meets psychedelic garage cut, and the jangly "O Mensageiro" is almost Byrdsian pop as filtered through the Flaming Lips. Sole remaining founding member and frontman Sergio Dias has conceived a multicolored universe where anything seems possible. --Fred Mills