2 min

Sex on CD

Subtle, sly & surprising

CIBELLE. Her self-titled debut is the sexiest release of the year. Credit: Xtra files

With help from Morcheeba and Brazilian electronica hero Apollo 9, the debut self-titled CD from Cibelle (pronounced see-Bell-ee) shows just how promising this new Brazilian talent can be on her own.

Cibelle is a former model and actress whose first recordings were with the late great producer Suba, who has been credited for creating São Paulo’s new vibrant music scene coming out of this sprawling modern city of 25-million people. Suba produced Bebel Gilberto’s one million selling mega hit Tanto Tempo. And since then the music press has started to take notice of the emerging music style that many are calling Sampa Nova, best described as a combination of the samba and bossa nova sounds of the 1950s and ’60s with modern electronics.

Cibelle incorporates Sampa Nova into this disc as well as adding in some downtempo and electropop sounds. She sings in Portuguese, as well as French and English with ease – her voice is the sultriest. This has to be the sexiest record of the year. Her gorgeous singing shines through the beautiful acoustic guitars and percussion, analog and digital keyboards and many inventive and fun sounds which make this mostly mellow CD never bland.

Cibelle involves quite a few artists from very diverse backgrounds including a Cuban pianist, a Latin trombone player, a French electronic producer and a veteran bossa nova vocalist and rapper. This young singer also wrote all the tracks, except a bossa nova hit by Antonia Carlos Jobim. The jazzy song “Waiting” is truly hypnotic not only because of her voice but for the slow grind of the bass line. The track called “Train” effortlessly blends English and French in a stylish Portishead kind of groove. “I’ll Be” is pure sexy abandon as it describes being a passive and attentive partner, all with these dreamy vocals and a slow beat.

The entire CD easily feels like it could be the ultimate sultry soundtrack to making mad passionate love. The Brazilians know all about being sexy, which involves more than just passion but also being subtle and sly and surprising. This best describes Cibelle’s debut disc as it’s filled with a sexy downtempo groove that will leave you wanting more.

The highly anticipated Sampa Nova compilation CD coming out this fall (on Stern’s Music label) will further bring attention to the modern Brazilian sounds coming out of São Paulo and is expected to include another Cibelle track.



Six Degrees. $23.99.