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'Suadade' is acid jazz

By Zarin Ahmed
On April 2, 2014

Thievery Corporation came out with their 8th studio album on the April 1, titled "Suadade," carrying tones of longing and melancholy.
The description given to Thievery Corporation on reads as follows: "The acid jazz veterans up the organic content of their output with an album of Brazilian-and bossa nova-flavored songs." Being a huge fan of Brazilian bossa nova masters Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, the description was enough to lure me in. If it seems a little perplexing to you, no worries-it confused me too.
What is acid jazz? I had to do some research and found out that acid jazz is also known as club jazz, which combines elements of jazz, soul, funk, disco and hip-hop. Bonobo, Nujabes, and A Tribe Called Quest are other groups that fall under this category.
A background of violins fill the air of the first song off the album, "Decollage." It is soon accompanied with a soft female voice of Lou Lou Ghelichkhani singing in French. All of the vocalists featured on the album are female.
The second song of the album took off with upbeat Spanish guitar and drums and more female vocals, this time from Karina Zeviani, in Spanish and at a lower tone.
"Firelight" is the first song on the album that has English words, that read something along the lines of "and then farewell my love, the train is gone, deep fog remains."
Though the album features songs in different languages, including Italian and Portuguese, it aims to serve a global essence that can unify. The emotions the music evokes, of wistfulness and longing, are ones that can be translated from any language and found in between the notes of the music.
"Suadade," pronounced by Brazilians as "sow-DAH-djee," is generally associated with melancholy and longing but Thievery Corporation defines it as "a longing for something or someone that is lost, a contented melancholy, or, simply, the presence of absence." It is an idea and feeling that is so prevalent and a reality to everyone. Theivery Corporation breaks through the cliches of elevator and beach music by providing a setting and space for sensitivity and sensuality.
The song after which the album is named stole my heart. No violins are in "Suadade." Instead, the melody focuses entirely on a lead guitar following a simple pattern of rhythm. It is backed up by quiet drums, sounds imitating water droplets, and the steady humming of guitar strumming. Even without words and just above two minutes long, the song harnesses great melancholy in a beautiful way.
The song stood out because of the lack of lyrics. Compared to other bossa nova songs with vocalists, the ones featured on the album were mediocre. All of the singers had melodic and soothing voices to listen to, but the music itself took centerstage in each song. The familiar sway to Brazilian bossa nova songs are ever so present in each song, but took off particularly in this one. The guitar notes layed over the music to add a specific storyline. It may be different to each listener, so I suggest finding out for yourself what they may be. Regardless, the music flows straight to the heart and soul, easing and aching altogether.
Songs to listen to: "Suadade," "Sola in Citta"

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