Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Elza Soares – Banho

Finally, Frank encourages us to hear what a legend has to say…


Alfred Soto: Written to honor the spirits of nature known as orixás, “Banho” generates its own force with hyperactive, electronically treated parts and Elza Soares’ committed husk.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: In Pierre Verger’s Orixás, the author details how the titular deities are ancestors who control different activities (hunting, metalworking) or aspects of nature (wind, water). After one of them dies, their power can be passed onto a descendant. When hearing “Banho,” a song about orixás, one feels as if octogenarian Elza Soares is showcasing her fiery vigor to the world. She’s not leaving just yet, but listening to this track feels like some of her energy is being imparted unto you.

Ian Mathers: If I have as much energy and verve about anything in my life when I’m two-thirds or even half Elza Soares’s age as she does on the joyfully storming “Banho,” I will be solidly impressed with myself. And that’s even before you look into the context, which is impressive on its own.

Nortey Dowuona: The purring bass, splitting guitars and tea cup synths all swirl together behind the flat, rigid drum programming while Elza, undaunted makes her way forward, surrounded by a flying four-part choir. This goes on in a thick, plush loop before the djembes drop and swing the song away and over the moon, around the rings of Saturn and right through the Sun.

Tim de Reuse: A gorgeous instrumental full of clunky percussion and angular guitar riffs, buoying a scratchy, energetic voice. It’s unfortunate that the captivating delivery doesn’t 100% salvage the tedious melody of the chorus.

Pedro João Santos: When word arrived of Deus É Mulher, I guessed Soares would grace us with her own Utopia: “an era powered by feminine energy,” as a counterpoint to the apocalyptic sound of her 2015 opus and comeback. Judging by “Banho,” the new dawn is just as alarming — and flute-less. The dirty samba-rock of A Mulher do Fim do Mundo is eschewed for a slinky, ominous synth; the chorus, chaotic and potent, flips the song on its head. Sinners and saints alike are saved by powerful percussion, as belligerent redemption. Soares vows to purify the world with her earthly, portentous voice. Goddamn us if it doesn’t. If an 83-year-old legend, who’s more than earned a dignified rest, keeps warning us, we must be doing some reckless BS.

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One Response to “Elza Soares – Banho”

  1. it’s great to see elza do so well here. i almost picked “o que se cala” for the reader’s week, so i’m glad someone else chose her!

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