At first, it sounds kind of like a joke: taking a bunch of Bee Gees ballads, translating the lyrics into Portuguese, and rendering them as minimally orchestrated, subtly jazzy acoustic pop tunes? But singer Ana Gazzola is not kidding, and for the most part she does a good job of making a case for these tunes as examples of gentle pop genius. If you don't speak Portuguese, then you get the chance to hear the melodies divorced from the familiar words and stripped of the gauzy disco-era over-production that make the Bee Gees' music sound so completely (and sometimes charmingly) dated today. Of course, not every song stands up equally well to this kind of exposure. "Run to Me [Corre Pra Mim]," with its simple but compelling melody, really shines in this setting, as does the truly wonderful "How Deep Is Your Love [Como é o Seu Amor]," whereas "Shine Shine [Brilho Brilho]" and "The Only Love [Meu Grande Amor]" both sound schlockier rather than less schlocky in these stripped-down arrangements. Gazzola herself is a very fine singer and never condescends to the material, investing every song with subtle but sincere feeling and (gratefully) resisting any temptation to overemote. The musicians are top-notch, and guests include guitar hero Eric Johnson and former Andy Gibb guitarist Peter Leinheiser. ~ Rick Anderson
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- Brazility (Angelo Metz)