AS PALAVRAS, VOL. 1 & 2 (Pink Vinyl)



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Take OutKast’s Speakerboxxx / The Love Below or Primal Scream’s Screamadelica,

they observe, study, and then flip what an album can mean to a genre or moment

in time.

From the very first listen of Rubel’s Latin Grammy- nominated third album As

Palavras, Vol. 1 & 2, you can feel its transformative force for the MPB genre. Here

we see one of Rio’s brightest stars, fusing the contemporary with the classic,

soaking up the richness of Brazil’s musical heritage. The result is a marauding 20-

track epic, incorporating traditional styles such as forro, MPB, pagode and samba

with modern baile funk, rasteirinha and hip-hop.

The album exudes a sense of freedom and creativity, playfully and provocatively

juggling the familiar with the forward-thinking. The tracks are divided across two

records, navigating feelings of love, heartbreak and discovery, whilst balancing

themes of violence, passion, irony and affection. Collaborating with some of the

country’s most esteemed artists such as Gabriel do Borel, Liniker, Luedji Luna,

Tim Bernardes and Ana Caetano, Rubel takes this fusion of styles, subjects and

favours to the global stage.

The grand, forro-blending, choral opener, ‘Forro Violento (Instrumental)’ sets the

tone for the album, with references and links between tradition and modernity

everywhere to be seen. From the Ana Frango Eletrico produced, funk flexing,

samba-soul brilliance of ‘Nao Vou Reclamar de Deus’, to the album’s title cut ‘As

Palavras’, in collaboration with Tim Bernardes , that melds MPB influences with

electronic elements and hip-hop touches.

Across both sides of the album, Rubel’s story-telling gift is given space to shine.

‘Torto Arado’ featuring Liniker and Luedji Luna , beautifully references the racial

injustice, tragedy, hope and ambition found in one the most celebrated Brazilian

novels of recent times by Itamar Vieira Junior. Elsewhere, ‘Na Mao do Palhaco’

manifests a satirical march about a suicidal conservative middle-aged man, who

is rescued by the miracle of the carnival.

At times the album is gentle and intimate with tracks like ‘Toda Beleza’ featuring

Bala Desejo, or the ode to friendship ‘Lua de Garrafa’, composed with the

legendary Milton Nascimento. At others, the grooves hit harder, with sounds from

the favelas laced within. ‘Put@ria!’, explores the universe of baile funk, with BK’

and MC Carol trading off on the mic, as ‘Rubelia’ moves between reggaeton, funk,

and hip hop. The latter is a tribute to a key influence of the album, Spanish star

Rosalia and her parallel mix of current with classic.

Ultimately though the beauty of this album lies in its concept. In the midst of a

country divided, ‘As Palavras Vol. 1 & 2’ sets out to bring together genres and

generations, grounded in rhythms and words that have helped define Brazil

through the ages.


  1. Forro Violento (Instrumental)
  2. Grao De Areia
  3. Nao Vou Reclamar De Deus
  4. Toda Beleza
  5. Put@ria!
  6. Rubelia
  7. Posso Dizer
  8. Vinheta As Palavras I
  9. As Palavras
  10.  Forro Violento
  11. Torto Arado
  12. Lua De Garrafa
  13. Na Mao Do Palhaco
  14. Doutor Albieri
  15. Samba De Amanda E Te
  16. Amor De Mae
  17. Vinheta As Palavras II
  18. Assum Preto
  19. Forro No Escuro
  20. Toda Beleza (Pelos Loirinhos)