Samba meets techno, trance and trip-hop on Cibelle's self-titled solo debut and ends up sounding like, well, samba. Some of the album's timbres are electronic, and a few of the songs groove at great length, but Brazilian model-turned-singer Cibelle Cavalli doesn't tamper significantly with the Sao Paulo sound. Although she wrote or co-wrote all but one of these 11 bilingual tunes, most of them sound like standards.
"Cibelle" was co-produced by the singer and keyboardist-programmer Apollo 9 and mixed by Morcheeba's Chris Harrison and Pete Norris. The album's stylistic variations are modest, but they do generate a few agreeable surprises. Although "Hate" accelerates samba's saunter only slightly, the song's percolating bass line and synthesized accents electrify the familiar love-hate lyrics. "Waiting" uses samples of a refrigerator and a cash register for its rhythm track, and the playfully hip-hopped "No Prego" adds a trombone solo and the vocal counterpoint of smooth Brazilian rapper Xis.
Such touches make "Cibelle" more akin to Daude's venturesome "Neguinha Te Amo" than to Bebel Gilberto's "Tanto Tempo," world music's recent top-seller. Still, Cibelle's music is balmy enough for all but the most uptight of Gilberto's fans.
-- Mark Jenkins
Appearing Monday at Iota with La Fatcha. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Cibelle, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8102. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)