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Brazzaville

21st Century Girl

(Bus Stop; US: 30 Sep 2008; UK: Available as import)

Sometimes the bossa nova/island music of Brazzaville sounds so sweet, strange and delicate, you think your heart is just going to break and little chickens will come out peeping from the egg-like fragments. Then you realize the songs themselves have a jagged edge. The softness of David Brown’s vocals and gentle lilt of the strings and piano are like the sighs one makes when confronted by pain one can never understand: the feeling of being abandoned by the one you love, or the pain of being dumped by the person you just met and fell for, or growing too old to enjoy the promising nowheres of new relationships. The gentle drumming that tempts one into movement is really the sound of rain and soon one is wet and cold. Brazzaville is a Barcelona based band that takes its name from one of the most squalid cities on earth. The group makes seductive music that insinuates like the delightful smell of oleander, and is just as deadly as that flowery perfume.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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