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Brazilian Girls 

Brazilian Girls (Verve/Forecast)

It's probably not overstating the case to say Brazilian Girls are giving us a taste of what pop music is going to sound like by the middle of the 21st century. The group drops cabaret, dub, samba, folk, and more onto tracks that never sound forced or self-conscious.

The sounds this band hears in its collective head inspire a global-minded groove with a generous intercontinental flavor. The ensemble bounces from "Pussy," a dancehall riddim that combines raunch and class, as singer Sabina Sciubba describes the ordeal of a pretty woman walking down a street filled with hustlers and drug dealers, to the straight-ahead disco pulse of "Dance Till the Morning." There are sentimental cabaret ballads such as "Ships in the Night," which possesses a delirious, reverb-drenched vibraphone and Hawaiian guitar fills. On these slower, moody numbers, Sciubba's vocals are sincere, delivered without a trace of the irony that many bands use to mask their lack of real feeling. Brazilian Girls don't shy away from emotion; even their most lighthearted melodies are sharp and soulful, which gives one hope for the future of romantic sentiment and genuine affection in pop music.

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