From psychedelic princess in the early '70s with Os Mutantes to disco queen in the '80s as a solo artist, Rita Lee has long claimed the title of Brazil's first lady of rock, bar none (and presumably for all eternity), not to mention one of the country's most exhilarating and beloved artists. A living legend, Rita Lee is set to complete a riotous life cycle, from everybody's favorite crazy girlfriend to everybody's favorite hippie auntie, to everybody's favorite granny with a wild past. It matters little that at this point, Lee has become one of those artists whose live and compilation releases seemingly far exceed her studio output -- all the more regrettable considering that her last two or three albums are as good as any of her classics -- her concerts are always going to be a fantastic party. While there is nothing about Multishow Ao Vivo to make it particularly preferable to other Rita Lee live albums, there are certainly plenty of reasons to embark on another multicolored ride. Lee is astute enough to stir up her setlist, both by revamping the unavoidable hits such as "Ovelha Negra" or "Flagra," as well as including several surprises and a few new songs. In the first category belong a hilarious Portuguese version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," with lyrics about a mountain goat of the Brazilian Northeast, a medley of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil songs associated with the Tropicalia movement (of which Lee was its youngest member), paying a humorous tribute to Frenéticas with a version of the mock tango "Vingativa," changing the object of desire of one of her lustiest love songs from "Bwana" to "Obama," rocking out with covers of "Poison Ivy" and "Roll over Beethoven," or dusting off neglected gems such as "Cor de Rosa Choque." The two new songs, "Vítima" and "Insônia," obviously cannot compete with Lee's standard repertoire, but are still fine additions. The only change here is that Lee's voice, at 62, does not sound quite as chirpy as it used to, but a life of excesses does not come free, even if it was as much fun as this Multishow Ao Vivo, or any of her joyous albums. As all of the titles in the Multishow series, it is presented in a CD/DVD package with a video of the concert plus behind-the-scene extras, taken from Lee's celebrated PicNic 2009 tour. ~ Mariano Prunes
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