Music Recommendation: Foreign / Non English Pop
January 11, 2005 12:43 PM   Subscribe

MusicRecommendationFilter: Foreign pop, anyone? (more inside...)

I've been listening to The Life Aquatic OST a bunch lately, and have really dug Seu Jorge's covers of Bowie in Portuguese. I was wondering if anyone can recommend more music along those lines -- possibly Samba tinged, probably acoustic, pop music in a romance language.
posted by drpynchon to Media & Arts (29 answers total)
Dunno if it's pop, but I'm going to recommend Mus anyway. You can read about them, listen to a mp3 and buy their best album here.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:54 PM on January 11, 2005

heh. you might aprpeciate the info i just added to this old thread. also, try suba's sao paulo confessions. neither really pop, though, but not really "demanding" either...
posted by andrew cooke at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2005

you might like mano negra / manu chao, too. i think there's some more acoustic stuff - don't know it well. more traditionally, you might like juan luis guerra (ojala que llueva cafe is good) or, slower tempo/older victor jara/violeta parra. that's covering quite a spread - i'm just giving you names i remember and again it's not really pop - so try listening to tracks on amazon or elsewhere first.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:18 PM on January 11, 2005

cafe tacuba, heading more towards rock.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:19 PM on January 11, 2005

three compilations have been released that contain an entertaining array of brazilian music: 1,2,3. these contain a bit of pop, some funk, and some rather bizarre miami bass sounding dance and hiphop. seu jorge is on two of these--i immediately recognized him when i heard his voice in the life aquatic. cool compilations; good v/a's for finding brazilian artists that you might enjoy. the second track on the third installment is worth the price of the disc.

dustygroove is always good for obscure/intl music and carries brazilian pop--classic and modern. their frontpage is always packed with suggestions
posted by mdpc98 at 1:25 PM on January 11, 2005

I've always been reasonably fond of Skank from Brazil. At least a few of their discs are available on Amazon.

My knowledge of Brazilian music though is both limited and dated. It's possible that I've just referred you to the Brazilian equivalent of the Backstreet Boys. I just really like them.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:41 PM on January 11, 2005

go straight for the stuff. anything by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben Jor, Milton Nascimento, or joao gilberto if you're looking to get super-old-school. If you liked the Jorge stuff on there, any MPB will probably do you reall nice. I'll 2nd dusty groove.

caetano's son moreno has two albums out w/a trio, "music typewriter" and "sincerely hot" which are more 'modern,' but don't fall into the generic-electronic-tinged trap that a lot of newer brazilian music available in the states does. both excellent.
posted by Swampjazz! at 1:46 PM on January 11, 2005

Fat Planet is a mp3 blog that has worldly music. A great read and perhaps you will find something to your liking there.
posted by jasonspaceman at 1:47 PM on January 11, 2005

also, for music hunting (esp. pop) you might find hookpreview helpful (full disclosure: i work for that company). it has ~8 second clips of songs from around the world. it's a java applet that allows you to search and play ~70k songs. usually faster to navigate and play clips than allmusic or amazon--clips are shorter though.

calrinhos brown, milton nascimento, and caetano veloso also come to mind.
posted by mdpc98 at 2:03 PM on January 11, 2005

I second the Brazilian stuff, and Toquinho rules, he is the greatest Brazilian ever second only to Adriano

Italian pop. I don't like him one bit but Tiziano Ferro is appallingly popular, and the music could certainly be worse
it's certainly not pop, but check out Casa Del Vento -- Anarchist goodness all around. Prozac + aren't half bad, too

Korean Pop is a lot of fun and i listen to a lot of it, I wish I could give you names but there's a lot of (English) websites about them.
posted by matteo at 2:17 PM on January 11, 2005

Don't forget Os Mutantes. Not really pop, but really great.
posted by goatdog at 2:18 PM on January 11, 2005

Franco Battiato used a lot of (now charmingly antiquated–sounding) synthesizers on his albums, but they are very good. I like them from Fetus onward (actually I haven't heard his pre-Fetus albums; they might be good too). The song "Una Cellula" is great.
posted by kenko at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2005

French language pop:

Jacques Brel
Serge Gainsbourg
Autour de Lucie
Francoiz Breut
Benjamin Biolay
Keren Ann
posted by matildaben at 2:26 PM on January 11, 2005

Moldovan pop band O-Zone sings in Romanian, and they are sickeningly infectious. I can't stop listening to them. Download "Despre Tine" and "Dragostea Din Tei" first, and if you like that also try "De ce pling chitarele" and "Oriunde ai fi".
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2005

Buddha, you beat me to the O-Zone comment. But mine was going to be sarcastic.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:42 PM on January 11, 2005

Also French:

posted by Lokheed at 3:04 PM on January 11, 2005

Lhasa who sings variously in French, Spanish and English is pretty good. The link has some samples from her latest album, though I preferred La Llorona, which came before.
posted by picea at 3:34 PM on January 11, 2005

dungen. Swedish Psych Rock. Hooray!
posted by clockwork at 4:08 PM on January 11, 2005

More later, but -- I'm a huge Paolo Conte fan.
posted by chicobangs at 4:16 PM on January 11, 2005

I'll second the recommendation for Moreno Veloso's very smart group. The members take turns leading and change the name accordingly, so look for Moreno+2 and Domenico+2. Best concert I saw in 2004.

One half of Gal Costa's doulbe lp Fa-Tal Gal a Todo Vapor is accoustic and lovely. (The other half is good too.)
There are some nice accoustic numbers by the supergroup Tribalistas.

I could list tons more but instead I'll point you towards this great site on brazilian music. I agree with a lot of the recommendations.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2005

Lars Hollmer has some poppy albums (Swedish). Or rather, he has some poppy songs on albums that also have very non-poppy material (e.g., the song Moloken from Door Floor Something Window).
posted by kenko at 4:20 PM on January 11, 2005

rxrfrx- I cannot deny that them being 3 flamboyantly homosexual eastern europeans plays a big part in my loving them.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 4:48 PM on January 11, 2005

From the East I'll offer some of China's most popular including an especially catchy little diddy called Chilly Cha Cha. It is sort of a Chinese Macarena. Super Star by S.H.E. is absolutely ubiquitous. I also very much like Jolin. While Chinese is not a 'romance' language the people are very romantic and optimistic.
posted by geekyguy at 5:14 PM on January 11, 2005

My introduction to Brazilian MPB was Brazil Classics 1 on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. It's a great place to start. The Samba compilation on Luaka Bop is great, too. Samba Soul 70 is a fantastic compilation of a mid '70s US R&B influenced Brazilian music, along the lines of the Favela Chic series. And Tanto Tempo by Bebel Gilberto is pleasant and mellow. Have fun exploring!
posted by dmo at 5:31 PM on January 11, 2005

Many of the recommendations here are very solid in my opinion (particularly Juan Luis Guerra, Caetano Veloso, Paolo Conte, Jacques Brel and Bebel Gilberto). I'd also recomment Emmanuel, Yuri, Las Flans, Bombay Vikings, and Charles Aznavour, from various points of the pop spectrum.
posted by rushmc at 7:00 PM on January 11, 2005

Nino Ferrer. Found via the CQ soundtrack, and augh-haugh-haugh! magnifique! On the Amazon page, check the sample of Oh! Hei! Hein! Bon! and Les Cornichons, oui!

Thanks to that soundtrack, I am now obsessed with the Yé-yé. Sofia Coppola, I love you.
posted by mimi at 7:42 PM on January 11, 2005

Marisa Monte. Start with Rose and Charcoal. Sheer awesome pop goodness.

I second Milton Nascimento. I've got Anima which I like quite a bit.
posted by weston at 8:26 PM on January 11, 2005

Also... there was a band called Timbalada ... I really liked Cada Cabeca e Um Mundo.
posted by weston at 8:34 PM on January 11, 2005

Don't quite know if it fits the category, but some Danish artists have recently re-recorded some Leonard Cohen songs in Danish , great reviews all round.
posted by bering at 9:55 AM on January 12, 2005

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