Chico Cesar – Vestido De Amor (ENG review)

Zamora Label – Available
World Music
Chico Cesar – Vestido De Amor (FR review)

Chico Cesar is the kind of Brazilian artist who is quite hard to classify, drawing inspiration from folklore that leads him towards pop or jazz on the same album, as is the case here. A former journalist, his lyrics are always rooted in reality and consistently politically charged. He is a man of many causes, fighting against racism and denouncing the current power structure, among other things. Therefore, this album should be seen as a whole. As a man of letters, a wordsmith, and a passionate musician, he presents his tenth original and perfectly executed album. He pours all his poetry into a track like “Amorinha,” reminiscent of the intensity of Chico Buarque in his most profound moments.
This album, like his previous nine, offers a critical portrayal of Brazilian society today. Being a Black man gives him a particular intellectual weight, and we tend to listen to him more seriously. Having experienced racism himself, he engaged in politics and served as a local representative for a few years, interrupting his career to serve the community.
In his music as well as his actions (such as taking a break from his career to lead the Cultural Secretariat of the State of Paraíba), he is involved in all righteous struggles. Starting with the fight against racism, which he knows well, the title and eponymous song of his fifth album alone serve as a manifesto: “Respect My Hair, Whites” (the comma says it all!). It refers to his kinky hair, which ordinary Brazilian racism labels as “bad hair,” much like a weed. He openly opposes the current government’s mistakes and publicly defends oppressed minorities (Indigenous people, LGBTQ+, Black people, women, and the poor) while investing himself in environmental issues. Despite facing some censorship, these struggles infuse his lyrics, which are both political and poetic.
Chico Cesar is an incredibly endearing artist who, despite his music sometimes appearing frivolous, uses a form of poetic humor that is uniquely his own to depict this rather decadent society. He has also published three poetry albums and has a deep love for poetic words, dedicating a song to them on a previous album (“Estado de Poesia”). He is an admirable artist who utilizes any form of musical art with incredible talent in his creations and compositions. This new album is a striking example of that. Yes, we love, we adore this artist who does not deceive, but rather reveals himself as he is, drawing from all the musical inspirations that ferment and drive his artistic life. This album will make you dance, smile, and sometimes reflect—this is the very essence of art. Chico Cesar is one of its worthy representatives, and the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move have deemed this album one of their celebrated “Essentials.”

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, July 2nd 2023


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