Picks and Pans Review: Magic Lady

updated 01/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Sergio Mendes Brasil '88

The genius of this group—in its previous incarnations as Brasil '66 and 77—lay largely in Mendes' ability to superimpose Brazilian rhythms and his instrument-like vocalists on such familiar tunes as the Beatles' Fool on the Hill and Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair. They've flagged lately, however, and here the unique Mendes sound battles with mundane disco over eight tunes. Disco wins, about 6 to 2. Only Magic Lacy and You Get Your Love from Me preserve a Brazilian base—they're an attractive kind of disco nova. One problem on the LP may be that Mendes' new singing trio is weaker than the original group. Another is that these are all new tunes, except for Yes I Love You, which Stevie Wonder has recorded; the surprise of a new treatment of an old favorite is lost. At the current rate of turnover, though, Brasil '88 has 10 years or so to work on its act before it becomes Brasil '99.

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