Seu Jorge: Cru (2005)


Baby, he likes it raw.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: In 2004 Brazilian singer and guitarist Seu Jorge enigmatically appeared in the movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, softly strumming Portuguese versions of David Bowie songs. This unexpected profile boost raised expectations for his second studio album, the sparse and haunting Cru.

Cru means “raw” in Portuguese, and Jorge created an album of raw emotions and stark ornamentation. Centered around sharp acoustic strums, samba beats and his oaken voice Cru creates a stunning force through willful under-production.

Bem Querer (My Dear) is a sunny swim in a pool of liquid guitar, while the romantic Una Mujer floats upon a bed of near inaudible beats and electronica. Tive Razão {TV Reloaded} (Voltair Mix) mixes wordless breaths and church organ, sounding like a man pleading for his soul at a funeral march.

Lyrically Jorge is concerned with the urban extremism of Brazilian culture. He shakes a jungle-like fist in the anti-fake boob rant Mania de Peitão (Large Chested Mania), and he reps his childhood home from the musical-filled slums with Eu Sou Favela (I Am Favela).

Cru was a well-respected hit in Brazil…

THE FALLOUT: …but America slept on it, as it does with all non-English language albums. Unless it’s reggaeton. Cru got some critical love but seems destined to remain a cult favorite.

Cru is available worldwide from Amazon, and you can sample tracks here:

Growling and coiled like a panther, Cru commands by charm and grace.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: The godfather of techno is a brother. Check the hidden genius of Derrick May.