Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
On this, Os Mutantes' third album, we hear a somewhat different band than what was on their debut. Sure, the core members of Rita Lee and the Baptista brothers are still in place, but there are some major aesthetic differences. By this time the tropicalia movement had petered out, and this album, while still plenty strange, is not quite as experimental and crazed as their debut. We won't hold this against them, however, as many of the major players of tropicalia were being jailed, exiled, or worse under the military dictatorship ruling Brazil at that time. As such, the Brazilian songwriting pool must have been much smaller, and Os Mutantes rely on their own formidable songwriting skills.
There is much more focus on the band's instrumental skill as the studio trickery and oddball arrangement are somewhat reduced here (although far from absent). Sergio Baptista is a phenomenal guitar player, and Arnaldo is similarly fine on the drums, and there is a lot more focus on the playing here. The bass lines also rock my balls, but I'm not sure who is responsible for that particular instrument here.
Although pening with the great, tropical psych rocker "Ando Meio Desligado," Os Mutantes
saved the full punch for the next two tracks. "Quem Tem Medo de Brincar de Amor" is a wild, completely insane sounding rocker punctuated by a slide whistle and some awesome stop-start rhythms. It probably stands as my favorite single Mutantes song. Next, "Ave Lucifer" returns to the sound of studio weirdness with inverted, underwater sounding percussive guitar and some orchestration near the end.
From here the album runs a little more along the lines of well-played acid rock. Unfortunately, that is to say it doesn't stand out as much, although it's certainly still well constructed. The are still some nice surprises like the sound effects on "Chao de Estrelas," the choir on "Haleluia," and the full scale sonic blastout ending the album on the last minute of the otherwise chill instrumental "Oh! Mulher Infiel."
Like the first album, the middle of the album has a bit of drag. The bluesy "Meu Refrigerdor Nao Funciona" runs about three minutes too long (although you do get to hear Ms. Lee sing in English), and the doo-wop of "Hey Boy" sets off my cheese alarm. Still, none of these problems are major enough to avoid this album. It is the last of the classic Mutantes albums for many folks.
Os Mutantes - 1970 - A Divina Comedia Ou Ando Meio Desligado