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Forro in the Dark

Light a Candle

(Nat Geo; US: 13 Oct 2009; UK: 12 Oct 2009)

Forro in the Dark knows how to party, and its regular New York City shows—including its long-running Wednesday night residency at Nublu that stretches well into the wee hours— provide plenty of spice. You’d expect nothing less if it’s true forro—the popping, pulsing party music derived from African and Brazilian strains—but you’d also expect a lot more than what’s offered by Light a Candle, which doesn’t so much feel like a triumphant scream as it does a pleasant shrug with occasional cause for celebration. Were it that everything on here throbbed like “Caipirinha”, a percussion showcase as primal as visceral, or burned like “Silence Is Golden”, which features half-sung, half-breathed vocals by the Brazilian Girls’ Sabina Sciubba. However, too many wind up somewhere long or short of “Just Like Every Other Night”, which is sung in English and aims for a light, laid-back groove but feels downright wimpy—lazy, even—next to what you know these cats can put out there. It’s pleasant and unessential.

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