When the Brazilian songs of Chico César grace your attentive ear, you open the door and let yourself be swayed. Chico César distributes his love, love for others, love for the world through the 16 tracks of this album. The warmth emanating from his music, sometimes folk, sometimes pop, sometimes flirting with jazz, this artist, entirely uncategorizable, has managed to carve out a special place, appreciated as much by the common people as by intellectuals, for very different reasons, all equally valid in each case.
For Chico César, love is a political act, a way of living and asserting oneself, leaving no room for any adversity. He stands tall as an anthem to happiness in a world teetering on all sides. In the midst of all chaos, Chico César stands firm, inviting us to celebrate, laugh, and love, following the tradition of many Brazilian singers. With an album title in French, “Vêtu d’amour” (Clothed in Love), which alone summarizes the entire album, one song stands out, radiant with poetry, “Amorinha.” In the end, one wonders if Chico César does not harbor one single desire deep within him—to awaken Brazilian society and make it more beautiful, gentler, paving the way for a future where space allows the realization of all dreams.
And after all, Gilberto Gil himself was an excellent Minister of Culture. Who knows, will Chico Cesar surprise us by having a role in a future Brazilian government? As one progresses through this album, the poetic aspect, the artistic form, reveals itself. What seemed like a game at the beginning of the album gains depth and ethnicity throughout the tracks. Having come across some critiques here and there about this album, I am surprised by the lack of analysis on this subject from my colleagues. Undoubtedly, Chico César is one of the great contemporary Brazilian artists. His music reflects the current society, with lyrics serving as a pretext. Brazil, a land of social and racial mixture, a land of contradictions, Chico César encapsulates it all.
If one only listens with a distracted ear, one misses out on everything. There’s no need to speak Portuguese to feel the art of this artist. Just let yourself be carried away, take the time to focus on the arrangements, and you will see that all the codes of Brazilian music blend together—the string instruments, the rhythms, the way Chico César uses his voice—all are cultural assertions that are prevalent throughout this album. These essential reasons drive us to broadcast Chico César on Bayou Blue Radio, and it’s why the editorial team of Paris-Move joins us in categorizing this album as one of our “Essentials.”
PARIS-MOVE, November 25th 2023
Flor de Figo
Vestido de Amor
Xangô, Forró e Ai
Te Amo, Amor
Dança Do Amor
Perdão Ao Tempo