Under Review


The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves


Arthur Krumins

Once Seu Jorge and Devendra Banhart appear on your CD liner notes, you know you’ve made it these days. Banhart sings alongside Cibelle on “London London,” and in a more coherent and plain fashion than on Cripple Crow. The novelty cover-singer Seu Jorge appears late on the album, and hopefully he’ll be heard by those who only download a few tracks. On the whole, Cibelle’s latest release effectively contrasts a wide array of sounds, forming a radical mix that sounds great on both a stereo and headphone listen. While I am unable to speak Portuguese, Cibelle’s vocals in English and her first language are projected clearly, and with a nod to old-time jazz-smiths like Billie Holiday. On The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves, the Brazilian musician makes quick sonic choices, avoiding languid gestures with music as spry as a daddy longlegs.
Cibelle is from Sao Paulo, the same city whose citizens spark musical tire fires all over the map. Earlier works by Cibelle include remixes and a full length. The diversity in her output puts mash-ups to shame, and blazes a trail other acts would be hard-pressed to follow. This sophomore album is self-produced, and plays with catchy and experimental ideas all at once to a beneficent end. It is rewarding to listen to this CD in a climate where access to and interest in world music is limited at best.