Ana Cañas
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Ana Cañas

Band World Latin


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2007 - Amor e Caos



Ana Cañas' fabulous first album stands out for being original, bold and a far cry from what people usually call MPB (Brazilian Popular Music). Having matured her act through more than five years of jam sessions in the São Paulo night scene, Ana imbues her songs with a jazzy feel and uses a musical tempo that is both unpredictable and innovative to its fullest potential. Her contralto voice is charismatic and powerful and she is considered one of the greatest recent new singers in Brazilian music. Even before she recorded her first album, she was already admired by the likes of Chico Buarque, Toquinho, Nelson Jobim and a legion of jazz buffs who frequent Baretto, probably the best piano-bar in Brazil, where Ana has performed in the last few years.
Maybe this São Paulo born and raised 27 year-old gets her freedom and independence as a singer as well as a composer from Baretto, where musicians can play for their own satisfaction. Of the ten tracks on the warmly welcomed album “Amor e Caos”, seven are hers together with her co-writers. Sometimes, in her songs Ana will subvert traditional children's songs to speak about the human condition while also talking about herself in universal terms. She never takes taking herself too seriously but she doesn't surrender to any kind of cheap commercialism either. On the second track called “A Ana”, for instance, the expression is in 25 of its 28 lines, spread out into verses such as: “Foi a Ana que fez/ Foi a Ana que foi/ Foi a Ana em fá/ Foi a Ana, foi” (“Ana did it/Ana went away/Ana in fa/Ana it was, Ana”). And the song is marvelous in every aspect.
The arrangements signed by Fabá Jimenez and Alexandre Fontanetti, Ana's co-writers, are bursting with creativity and explore to the utmost the most surprising sounds each instrument can make. This is clear right from the start of the lovely opening track, “Mandinga não”, in which Fontanetti makes his synth guitar almost whistle at the beginning of a trip that will end in Ana's fantastic rendering of Bob Dylan's “Rainy Day Women”, in a memorable duo with the very same Fontanetti's tenor guitar.
Besides Bob Dylan, the album also includes a new recording of Caetano Veloso's, “Coração Vagabundo”, in a version that is both simpler and more breathtaking in Ana's voice; and another song by Jorge Mautner, “Super mulher”, that boasts a luxury: percussion by Naná Vasconcelos, another fan of Ana's singing and who was chosen as the album's special guest after he fell in love with the track “Devolve Moço”.
Speaking of “Devolve Moço”, it must have been responsible for encouraging Ana to record such a bold album. The song was first released on My Space, where it got fantastic feedback and over 5 thousand hits in less than 3 months.
But maybe “Vacina na Veia” is the one song that best represents Ana's courage (“Pra onde foi? Onde ficou aquela coisa verdadeira? / O forte ficou fraco, e do homem fez-se o rato/ (...) Vacina na veia para não cair na teia (...)” which can be loosely translated as “Where did it go?/Where did the real thing go?/ What was strong became weak and what was man became a rat/ (…) A shot in the vein so as not to fall in the web (...)”
Another aspect of the artist that is worth mentioning is the fact that she graduated in Drama. According to Ana, Brazilian theater didn't lose much, quite the contrary, when she gave up becoming an actress and chose to embrace music instead, but the truth is she dresses and interprets the songs in such a special way that gives people the impression that she is possessed by a character. The wide tonal range and nuances of the beautiful “Cadê você” are a good example of this festure of Ana's singing.
“Para todas as coisas” is like an interview Anaconducts with herself and in it she lists some of her idols. They are Guimarães Rosa, Marisa Monte, Clarice Lispector and Machado de Assis, and there are other even more revealing confessions. In “?” (yes, that's the “title” of the song), Ana also exposes herself but instead of answering, she simply asks questions. The two songs, side by side on the album, validate her talent and versatility as a composer. In short, “Amor e Caos” should be heralded as one of the best first albums to be released in the last few years in Brazil. It showcases a new composer and confirms the talent of a great singer.