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A few fellow travelers contributed to their new duo record—guitarists Pedro Sá and Bartolo and multi-instrumentalist Rubino Jacobinho—but the vast majority of the sounds they made themselves. Considering how much I dig their music, I expected to like this, but it's become one my favorite pop-rock albums of the year, heavy as it is with Beatlesque melodies, briskly driving rhythms, and sharp multitracked vocal harmonies. They sing in Portuguese, and the music occasionally recalls Os Mutantes (who often ripped off the Beatles), but aside from Callado's delightful "Essa Menina," with its shades of Nordeste forro, there's not much distinctly Brazilian about the record. Alone and together they wrote all but one of the songs, and they take turns singing when they're not braiding their voices. I had a hard time choosing what to post as today's 12 O'Clock Track, but I ended up choosing the one English-language song, Becker's gorgeous "Packing to Leave."
photo: Jorge Bispo