OS MUTANTES, Divina Comedia Ou Ando Meio Desligado, LP USED

While Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil spearheaded the so-called Brazilian Tropicalista movement of the late 1960’s with their unique blends of traditional Brazilian musics, the most extreme example of this movement were Os Mutantes, whos’s fusion of musics made them sound like Burt Bacharach on acid grooving on an endless bossa nova with the Beatles. There’s no good way to describe the brilliance of this band, so that’s the best I can muster.
By late 1969, the brothers Baptista (Sergio-guitar,vocals; Arnaldo-keyboards,vocals,Rita’s boyfriend) and vocalist Rita Lee had seen a quick collapse of the core of the movement they shared in, as founders Gil and Veloso were arrested and deported from Brazil. They were also on the government’s hit list due to their obvious support of the movement, and by 1969, they had gone into hiding, living by themselves. The living was similar to that of Love in 1967-8 LA- decidedly weird and heavily drug laden.
From this period came “A Divinia Comedia…”, their 3rd album, and by far, my favorite Mutantes lp. A glorious blend of schmaltzy bossa nova mixed with British invasion-esque sensibilities in 1 song, pure fuzzed/freaked out psychedelia the next, surrealist painting the following, the lp does not suffer from predictability, to be sure. Nor does it suffer from sub-par musicianship. Sergio shines on this lp, showing off his increasingly virtuoso guitar playing, whether on ballads like “Desculpe, Baby” or on out n out freak outs like the lp’s finale, “Oh! Mulher Infiel,” a sonic blitzkreig of scary proportions. Arnaldo’s organ riffs throughout the lp range from sinister to perfectly tasty- all perfect within the context of the tracks.
From start to finish, “A Divinia Comedia..” is a topsy-turvy, pot-laden hallucination that comes across as sincere. An odd choice of words, I know, but this is an odd album. Rare are so obviously drug-influenced lps so well crafted and so well executed, but this is one of them.


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SKU: 11015 Category: