Elza Soares ‘Planeta Fome’

34th studio album,  born in Deck label, “Planeta Fome” is the umpteenth, brilliantly mind-boggling Elza Soares’s record. The teeth-grinding Mary Magdalene of Brazilian Samba (but that would be so reductive for such a gigantic talent) is back channeling visceral panic, brilliantly conveying collective disaffection and human, intrinsic discontent.

More prolific than ever, the previous album Deus É Mulher is only one year old and it truly seems that this adorable octogenarian grand dame has no intention to cease to sing the hell out of herself, aligning her incomparable talent with constant, irrepressible experimentation

The opening track of this brand new chapter of tumultuous statements made of 12 music episodes is Libertação, featuring Russo Passapusso from BaianaSystem. In this song She clearly states her manifesto, breaking off silences and criminal complicities, generously breaking through her usual, impeccable samba arabesques. It’s nothing coming on short notice: in 2018 “O Que Se Cala” Ms Soares had undoubtedly expressed her intention: “My voice is for shouting whatever was hushed up”.  Now that the Country was left as a sinking ship (“Largou, largou, largou”) Elza bravely sings “I am not going to succumb, let me know the floor is shaking, that will be the time when you have to hold my hand tight”.

In Menino calls in for a change, with the Brazilian future being represented by a starving child (with no bread and no tomorrow), with a clear chopping out of the Country matters,  in the following-up, jaw-droppingly good , Brasis. The multifaceted looks of the Nation line up representing a huge portion of a contradictory Land. “There is Brasil that smells nice and Brasil that stinks, the Brazil giving and the one that asks away”.

But The Woman at the End of the World closes off to the lack of hope, on the contrary she recalls strength and glory from the Past to be mirrored up by nowadays left-over tragedies and upcoming plagues. But because of the grieving Carnival of the same corrupted politicians masquerading as somebody else, her voice denotes a formidable accent of impatience. And when the rhythm seems to be gummed up, Blá Blá Blá’s schizophrenia kicks in with apoplectic rage, stirring it with Tim Maia’s Me dê motivo refrain to underline her awakening call in a mix that subtly throws a dart in the heart of Bolsonaro’s wicked, irresponsible policy.

By mastering the technicalities of the manège of her own dark horses She cuts out irony and false optimism with a brilliant, heart-cutting analysis which could easily be considered some brand new Tables of the law of a misadvised world covered in lies and a misguiding collective behavior. A theme in which we travel through some more in Comportamento geral. But if in the previous track She closes off to the the arrogance of looking ahead and knowing where this journey is taking us, thanks to Bnegão and Pedro Loureiro‘s precious hands, that elevate the song spirit to a higher, poetically disruptive level, in this one She opts for a mocking tone, filled with bitterness comment to everyday social  incongruence.

This is   splendidly delivered with a cryptic, reiterated refrain of voices, repeating You deserve it, a new Aristophanes‘s The Frogs choir, that instead of doing the impression of the croaking animals living in swamps, here squawks against social hypocrisy.

Despair and Hope always creep up together, and the Nordestina Queen knows how to drop in lovable surprises without dozing off: softly describing the locus amenous of a eyes-opening love (how beautiful is the line You are my eyedrops?).

Disconsider Reason ,your heart and in the chaos of this life throw yourself into confusion”. Something you wouldn’t hear every day by spiritual leaders, huh?

Along with Rafael Mike She also  signs in for a instant cult, which reconnects with A Carne (2002, from Do Cóccix Até O Pescoço), but this time glorifies the fights that have been tking place: the meat that got used to be humiliated in slavery and bloody racism has now a different weight and importance, a refund respect that is the equivalent of a ton.

But despite the distortion-soaked atmosphere of the songs (Your weapon won’t put me down, She shouts in Virei o Jogo), She still has ferment dreams. In fact in Pais do sonho claims her project of building a Country in which Corruption is not a hobby/ where black people are not the only ones to be condemned/ and where people don’t get rich out of her religious beliefs.

This endless journey of wonders portraits an incredible woman who happens to be a  punk manqué, roaring with her attitude, blessing us with her cranky, raspy, husky voice. Like She said in the 2016 Netflix documentary My name is Now (“Meu nome é agora”): I’m black, indio, samba, jazz, blues, funky, rock ‘n roll, rapper, show, punk, bright, dark, everything, nothing.

This  is by far the closest description of this extraordinary talent, to whom we should unquestionably give the keys of this Planet. Of Planet Hunger, of course.