Rita Lee,
Aqui Ali Em Qualquer Lugar
(Abril, 2001)

Rita Lee has had a long and successful career in Brazil and has been a Beatles fan since the '60s, so it is entirely appropriate that she should record this tribute album. Clearly a talented singer, she sings most of these songs in fluent English, with the remainder in her native Portugese. Actually, three of the four songs recorded in Portugese are also here in English versions, but it doesn't matter -- it's a great album anyway.

Rita's style is very soft and sexy, almost whispery at times, making her covers of these songs very distinctive, even before you take account of the Brazilian influences. Inevitably (given her style), many of the songs are taken at a slower tempo than the Beatles did them, but the one song I might have expected her to slow right down ("I Want to Hold Your Hand," which has been slowed down by others, most notably Petula), she actually sings quite briskly, though not as energetically as the Beatles.

Having heard many Beatles tributes, I know which songs to expect most frequently. Rita has shown some imagination in her selection, by omitting "Yesterday" (a song I love, but it has been covered by hundreds of others). Instead, Rita covered "She Loves You," "All My Loving" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," all of which have been covered before, but not too often.

As this is my first Brazilian album, I can't compare it to other Brazilian music, but it has certainly aroused my interest and I will explore further in due course. What I can say is that this is a stunning Beatles tribute album, well worth listening to.

- Rambles
written by Peter D. Harris
published 23 August 2003

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