Sweating Pheromones

But Brazil is a land of soap operas all day long, and it would only make sense that a group of All Day Progressives would literalize that in their music—progressive means something under a dictatorship. So, Mutantes (album number two) starts with Rita Lee's jaded "Hungry Like the Wolf" yawn, then winds up more like Jefferson Airplane and less excitable than the first record. It's better than Crown of Creation, especially as you need to know Portuguese to make out the sci-fi stuff. After skimming Tropicalia's cream for their debut, they take up most of the songwriting themselves, and the in-jokes age well because the band seems so anachronistic copping "Satisfaction" and "Wooly Bully." I hear the Fugs, too, or at least their methodology. They should be overturning Esso pumps, but instead they're starting their own gas station—not a better record than the first, but a smarter one.

And then, too smart. By Divina, the Arnaldo Brothers, Lee's partners in crime, have been listening to King Crimson, and as LKJ put it: "Inglan is a bitch." Especially U.K. radio in 1970. Rock itself was suffering a similar virus, from Psych to Heavy to Prog. Divina is more leaden than heavy, more digressive than eclectic—you can't chew on a riff for too long. But it sort of dares you not to like it with its expansiveness, like that kid in Rushmore, and I find that admirable. There's too much German-friendly organ, and the best you can say is that it doesn't sound like "Hush," though it doesn't sound like "Let's Go Crazy," either. Except that it does kind of sound like "Hush." But "Oh! Miur Infidel" sounds out-and-out manly, like the Spencer Davis Group after Steve and Muff saw a chance and took it.

"Hey Rita, remember back when Byrne liked one-word titles?"
Souvenirs De Cinema
"Hey Rita, remember back when Byrne liked one-word titles?"

Details

Os Mutantes
Os Mutantes
Mutantes
A Divina Comťdia Ou Ando Meio Desligado
Omplatten

Os Mutantes
World Psychedelic Classics 1: Brazil: The Best of Os Mutantes: Everything Is Possible!
Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.

And then the band started to suck, as all bands eventually do, but you'll have to shell out serious cash for the imports to hear it. So the joy drains a bit. So what? In 1969, Fela Kuti, of analogous passive-aggressive political position, is recording catchy ditties in praise of the Biafran war. You can't listen to ideas, and sometimes it's better to take the side of art over life. Call me ahistorical. I wish. I point my pistol. Dance clown!

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