Review Summary: Mutantes reach their creative peak
After the band's involvement in the Tropicália movement, Arnaldo Baptista, Sérgio Dias and Rita Lee decided to abandon the more Brazilian elements present in the two previous albums, “Os Mutantes” in 1968 and “Mutantes” in 1969, and move on to pure psychedelic rock. The truth is that this change has only brought good things. The influences of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin are more evident than ever, experimentalism gains new ground, and Rita Lee unleashes her wild voice.
Launched in 1970, “A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desligado” is not only a milestone in the group's career, but also in Brazilian music. On side A, the blues and soul take the reins, with a greater involvement of the electric organ. Opening with "Ando Meio Desligado", a contagiously soft psychedelic music with expertly timed flourishes of the piano and the courteous voice of Rita Lee, who assumes the vocal functions in most of the album.
Another element very present in this album is humor, and "Quem Tem Medo de Brincar de Amo" is one of several examples. In addition to the incredible energy and irresistible rhythm, the song is in fact a parody with Rita Lee singing in Portuguese with an American accent. Without forgetting, of course, one of the best tracks, "Meu Refrigerador Não Funciona", which opens with a kind of tribute to Janis Joplin, and then moves on to a scene of frustration and melancholy in the face of the serious problem mentioned.
When passed to side B, we find a more progressive and doo-wop sound. The band gloriously demonstrates this with "Hey Boy", a really fascinating song, with a mini guitar solo, featuring strong distortion. The effects on the voices grow and the music ends with a car accident. Like most songs, "Preciso Urgentemente Encontrar um Amigo", by Roberto Carlos and Erasmo Carlos, presents a deceptively simple interaction between the organ and the guitars.
Still to mention, "Chão de Estrelas" perfectly incorporates Arnaldo Baptista's acoustic sound and circus music, with the instrumental track that closes the disc, "Oh! Mulher Infiel" starts with a tribal drums and screams before the entrance of the heavily distorted electric guitar and organ, which still goes through a section with a honky tonk-style piano. Such an innovative song that, honestly, has not been recreated for decades.
In short, “A Divina Comédia Ou Ando Meio Desligado” is a very successful cannibal mix of a series of genres too large to measure, but always framed in an atmosphere of humor and experimentalism. The range of songs shows an amazing variety of styles expressed with the sincerity that only a group like Os Mutantes can offer. In October 2007, the album was listed by Rolling Stone Brazil in 22nd place in the list of the 100 best records of Brazilian music.