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Tropical Brainstorm [UK]

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Tropical Brainstorm [UK]

Artist: Kirsty MacColl

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Label: V2 (USA)
Album: Tropical Brainstorm [UK]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Mambo de la Luna
2)    In These Shoes?
3)    Treachery
4)    Here Comes That Man Again
5)    Autumngirlsoup
6)    Celestine
7)    England 2, Columbia 0
8)    Nao Esperando
9)    Alegr¡a
10)    Us Amazonians
11)    Wrong Again
12)    Designer Life
13)    Head

Performer Notes
  • This is an Enhanced audio CD wich contains regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
  • Personnel includes: Kristy MacColl (vocals, lap steel guitar, auto harp); Felix Gonzalez (rap vocals); Pete Glenister (guitar, programming); Luiz De Almeida (nylon string guitar, surdo); Ernesto Estruch (violin, piano); Omar Puente, Gabriel Fonseca (violin); James Knight (saxophone); Ben Storey (trumpet); Joseph De Jesus (trombone); Mark Hinton Stewart (keyboards).
  • Producers: Kristy MacColl, Pete Glenister, Dave Ruffy.
  • TROPICAL BRAINSTORM, the last studio release from popular singer Kirsty MacColl, features a distinctive latin influence and includes the tracks "Mambo De La Luna" and "Us Amazonians."
  • Personnel: Kirsty MacColl (vocals, lap steel guitar, autoharp); Pete Glenister (guitar, programming); Chucho Merch n (double bass); Dave Ruffy (drums, programming); Roy Dodds (percussion); Lee Groves (programming).
  • Audio Mixers: Pete Glenister; Richard Manwaring; Jeremy Wheatley.
  • Director: Rob O'Connor.
  • Illustrator: James Marsh.
  • Photographer: Rocky Schenck.
  • This is a very difficult album to critique in a dispassionate way. A singer/songwriter with a nearly perfect bloodline (her father was Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger was her step-mother), Kirsty MacColl had been writing brilliant songs and releasing modestly successful albums since the early '80s. The last time listeners heard from her, on 1993's grim Titanic Days, she had just gone through a painful divorce; she swore that she wouldn't record another album until she could make a happy one. Almost eight years later, she did just that. Tropical Brainstorm is, in part, a celebration of the musical traditions of Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico; mambo and samba rhythms are everywhere, and Latin percussion bumps up against violins, trombones, and nylon-string guitars on almost every track. But the songs' lyrical themes range more broadly -- while "Mambo de la Luna" is all about the flavor of life in Cuba, "England 2, Colombia 0" is a hilarious tale of romantic treachery and "Us Amazonians" a wry depiction of a matriarchal tropical utopia. But even when her lyrics cut to the bone, there's an underlying sense of happiness and good humor that was entirely missing from her last album. And there's the rub. What makes this album so difficult to approach with much critical distance is the fact that MacColl was killed in a boating accident several months after it was completed; she died in the ocean off the coast of Mexico, one of the places that inspired the exuberant and sweet-natured music on this wonderful record. How to listen to this music in the wake of that fact? With grateful joy, one supposes. And with a gentler gratitude that she was this happy at the end of her life -- if Titanic Days had been her last effort, it would have been difficult listening indeed. ~ Rick Anderson

Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (4/27/01, p.118) - "...Captures her earnest fascination with LAtinmusic, but it's just as much a product of her dry British humor....her songs express endless disappointment in love matched to melodies that won't quit..." - Rating: A

CMJ (4/30/01, p.28) - "...Inspired largely by Cuban and Brazilian music, with added dazzle from MacColl's pop flair and cheeky wit dancing amid a shower of Latin grooves..."

Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:20 March, 2000

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1 review(s)
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I remember exactly where I was when I heard Kirsty MacColl was dead. I was getting off work around midnight in December 2000, and the radio announced that she'd been killed in a boating accident in Cozumel. I immediately thought back to the first time I'd heard her music; on the "She's Having a Baby" soundtrack, she covered The Smith's "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet, Baby", and I've been a fan ever since. The untimely death of this mainly underrated songstress is a huge loss for the music industry. "Tropical Brainstorm" seems a very fitting last album; a breezy, cozy CD that sounds like Kirsty was happy and enjoying life. Her obvious love of Cuba and its history is prominently displayed here, since most songs have a cuban influence. And yet, she never forgets her native Surrey, England, using phrases like "lying git" (on the track "England 2, Colombia 0"). One of my favorite tracks is a beautiful piece called "autumngirlsoup" that is tragic and lovely all at once; "I'm an autumn girl on the endless search for summer", she sings, "'cause I need some love to cook my frozen bones". If you've never experienced her music, there's no time like the present to enjoy it. BUY THIS CD. Anyone in the know understands what a blow to music this tragic loss is- I quote the chilling lyrics of "Alegria": I close my eyes, another dream arrives
Taking me deeper, into the sweet water
Filling my senses with happiness and joy

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