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Thievery Corporation: Saudade

by Bill Murphy on May 14, 2014

Dialing it back has always been Thievery Corporation’s m.o., even when they’re doing everything in their power to push an agenda. (Remember the sly conspiracy theory subtext that drove 2011’s psychedelic Culture of Fear?) The duo’s eighth studio album marks a return to the bossa-jazz sound that got them started, but this time around, it comes with a layered sophistication that has emerged from years of fine-tuning their production chops. As usual, there are guest shots galore, from chanteuse LouLou Ghelichkhani’s dreamy “Decollage” to Natalia Clavier's ultra-relaxed beach ballad “Claridad,” while the musicianship recalls the breezy acoustica of Jobim, the luxe spaghetti soundtracks of Morricone and even the trip-hop of Portishead. (The latter channeled through Shana Halligan’s sensuous take on “Depth of My Soul,” with full string orchestra at the ready.) Translated loosely, Saudade is Portuguese for a euphoric state of longing; Thievery’s Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have managed to capture it perfectly in a sprawling, space-age lounge excursion that flickers with warm glimpses of a pop-art past. Bill Murphy

Authors: Bill Murphy
Artist: Thievery Corporation
Album: Saudade
Label: ESL Music