Criolo — Nó Na Orelha

After Rio, Bahia and Pernambuco, São Paulo is the new hub of emerging talent from Brazil. Over the past couple of years artists such as Céu, Tiê, Tulipa Ruiz and Thiago Petit have formed the new generation of creative Brazilian musicians. In that prolific scenario has emerged Criolo, aka Kleber Gomes (ex- Criolo Doido).

His new album, Nó Na Orelha, released digitally in April, is the current “must hear” release, with excellent reviews from the Brazilian press.

Criolo is not a new artist. He released an album five years ago, but it was with this work that he has proved his maturity and reached a unique mix, which is based not only on hip hop, where his roots lie, but with a terrific blend of rhythms. The fact that he’s a rapper – Criolo is one of the creators of the famous MC battles of Brazil – distinguishes him from the current scene, but Nó Na Orelha is much more than a hip-hop album, there’s reggae, samba, jazz, soul and even bolero. He is definitely part of, as they like to call, the new MPB (Popular Brazilian Music).

The album was produced by Criolo and the producers Daniel Ganjaman and Marcelo Cabral, and mixes great raps, such as “Grajauex” and “Subirusdoistiozin”, with surprising and exciting tracks like the spectacular “Não Existe Amor Em SP”, the African styles of “Bogotá” and “Mariô”, the Jamaican “Samba Sambei”, the peculiar “Freguês da Meia Noite” in a tacky bolero style that reminds me of something from Os Mutantes, and finishes with an authentic samba in “Linha de Frente”. Nó Na Orelha is one of those albums that you begin listening with curiosity but end up totally hooked by the clever lyrics and interesting production. A real goal from guys who don’t sleep on the spot, and a serious contender for the best Brazilian album of 2011.

By Olívia Mendonça

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