Lava Lamp's NZ Music Reviews

Monday, October 30, 2006

Loop Recordings - Various Artists - OE:Brazil

Okay then, my hand has finally been forced by the latest travesty of music to appear from Loop Recordings. Having been an avid listener of New Zealand over the last decade or so, I have decided I am now going to start writing about some of the excellent, good and not so good music that comes from those fair southern islands known as New Zealand. Let's start, then, with the not so good...

Not content with boring me to tears with their second Fly My Pretties album and the blandification of the 'Wellington sound' in general, Loop have now let the epically dull Barnaby Weir loose on another nation's musical culture.

Poor old Brazil had to put up with Barnaby and some other kiwi yawnsmiths for six weeks, the result of which is OE:Brazil - kinda like a Fly My Pretties with some Brazilian beats thrown in for good measure. Yes, it is as absolutely appalling as I make out...

And the thing is, it starts off so promisingly. The opening track 'Ka Hoki Nga Mahara' is an atmospheric soundscape that initially made me think the whole album was going to be some sort of avant-garde experimental exercise in mixing traditional Maori sounds with Brazilian rhythms and beats. But then, inevitably, it dissolves into the worst sort of cafe background music with the second track 'Doa Doa' - an inoffensive latin shuffle that one imagines any decent Brazilian hotel band would probably fart out without even taxing their buttock muscles.

Weir doesn't actually make his first appearance until the third track - the appallingly entitled 'Doin' It For Brazil' (as opposed to 'Doin' it for my Bank Balance') - but even then it's all I can do to not rip my headphones from my head and go running into the desert screaming at the top of my lungs in an effort to purge my body of any potential contamination from the tedious viruses that are so obviously running rife in his body.

At least the presence of Weir's soul-sapping musical leanings makes some of the other artists look a little less ordinary in comparison, and a couple of the Brazilians manage to rise above the mundane, particularly Marcelo and Funky Buia on 'I'm Not Gonna Back Down' which, with a couple of great vocal breaks, they rescue from being just another notch in Weir's sub-par UB40 white-boy reggae belt.

But, really, there's not one single track on this album that is memorable in any way. No hooks, no magic, no passion - it seems to be just one exercise in middle-management music creation from start to finish.

Just like Bacardi, who sponsored this musical misadventure, this album looks good, may seem vaguely tasty to start with, and go down without too much effort, but will leave you with a bastard of a headache the next morning, no memory of what actually happened, and have you swearing not to go near it again as long as you live. Just stay away...

RATING: 1/10

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