Review Summary: Musical Manifesto
The musical manifesto that symbolized the Tropicália movement, as if it were an echo of society under the military dictatorship at the end of the 1960s dominated by Bossa Nova. Tropicalism did not limit itself with music, as it also manifested itself in the visual arts, cinema and theater.
Considered the second best album of Brazilian music by Rolling Stone Brasil magazine, the album “Tropicalia ou Panis et Circencis” brought together a legendary set of emblematic musicians. Starting with Caetano Veloso, who opened the honors of the movement with his song Tropicália on his solo album, and with Gilberto Gil, who, in 1967, participated in the 3rd Festival of Brazilian Popular Music with the songs "Alegria, Alegria" and "Domingo no Parque.". A crucial moment for the movement and definition of Tropicália. In addition to these two heavyweights of Brazilian music, Gal Costa, Nara Leão, Tom Zé and the trio Os Mutantes also joined. The lyric part had contributions from the poets Torquato Neto and Capinam.
Released in July 1968, the album opens with "Miserere Nóbis", played by Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes, which culminates with all the spirit and influence found in Tropicalismo. The experimental aspect is immediately identifiable when the organ starts and then goes to a bell leading the way for the song itself. From here, we immerse ourselves in an incredible musical variety throughout the album - samba, bossa nova, psychedelic rock, and even the sound of Carnival.
Some highlights go to "Coração Materno" with a fundamental orchestration courtesy of maestro Rogério Duprat, a song that until then was considered in bad taste; for the provocative masterpiece "Panis et Circenses", clearly with a psychedelic sound; from Tom Zé, "Industrial Park" is one of the best tracks on the album that invokes the virtuosity of performers and maintains that tone of reality; "Baby" is a classic that has already been re-recorded by other artists, but this is clearly the definitive version with the perfect voice of Gal Costa; and the disc ends with "Hino do Senhor Bonfim", a 1923 religious and civic composition, and a festive and fun ending to an iconic record.
All in all, this's one of the most important records produced in Brazil, a true manifest of a clearly behavioral and aesthetic movement. The group of musicians is unbeatable, the musical diversity plays on several fronts and never ceases to surprise. The entire historical context in which all this happened makes “Tropicalia ou Panis et Circencis” a landmark in Brazilian culture.