Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seu Jorge - The Life Aquatic: Studio Sessions

In his role in the film "The Life Aquatic," which I haven't seen, Seu Jorge sang several David Bowie songs in Portuguese, accompanied only by his guitar. While this album doesn't include the identical recordings found on the movie's soundtrack, it does add more songs. At least that's what I have been able to piece together from descriptions and reviews online.

The idea of Seu Jorge singing David Bowie seems sort of unusual at first, and I guess it is unusual, but it's also very effective. Seu Jorge's voice is immediately recognizable, at least it is once you've heard it, and he sings very naturally, effortlessly, and with a sort of self-assurance that makes you think that these songs could have been written just for him. 

Depending on the song, his voice ranges from his usual deep register to a higher one, not a falsetto but still pretty high for him. He does a great job with all the songs, but my favorites are the ones where he sticks to the lower end of his range. When his voice really shoots up into the stratosphere, it's a lot less mellow than what we're used to with Seu Jorge.

Standout tracks are "Rebel Rebel"...


and "Starman," where he ventures into the higher range but without straining his voice. 

I've been listening to this album on Spotify, which unfortunately doesn't include two tracks that are on the CD and also on iTunes: "Team Zissou" and "Space Oddity." Unfortunately, iTunes only offers them as part of the entire album, but they're available on YouTube.

Based on the iTunes 90-second sound samples for these tracks, "Team Zissou" is good but not essential, but "Space Oddity" is a must-have. 

Hearing him sing "Esse é o grande controle da Major Tom, Me diz se você vêm" makes you feel that you're hearing the song for the first time...and in a way, you are. 

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