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Bebel Gilberto 


For her sixth album and first since 2004's self-titled album, the Brazilian-born, New York-based Gilberto sticks to the lovely ballads and midtempo numbers that made her an international star. The fresh electronic textures and sly dub rhythms of her breakthrough Tanto Tempo have gradually receded, leaving a smooth and pleasing approach to bossa nova. Gilberto still possesses a wonderful voice, and she exercises it with teasing croons and wispy restraint on light Spanish and English numbers such as "Momento" and "Os Novos Yorkinos." However, she eschews challenging material for soft, adult-contemporary fare. There are a few exceptions: the kinetic dance track "Bring Back the Love," a pairing with New York eclectics Brazilian Girls that throbs eerily like an echo chamber, and "Cacada," which ends with a procession of haunting percussive noises. Momento is sweet, beautiful even, but it could use more personality. 3 stars.

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