Jesse Jarnow

“nega (photograph blues)” – gilberto gil

“Nega (Photograph Blues)” – Gilberto Gil (download here)
from Gilberto Gil (1971)
reissued by Water (buy)

(file expires April 20th)

For all the complexities offered to American listeners by tropicalia — musical, conceptual, cultural, and political — the pleasure of Gilberto Gil’s “Nega (Photograph Blues)” is its near-bubblegum bliss. It is simple, catchy, and doesn’t leave much to talk about. It’s just a song. Recorded during his early ’70s London exile, Gil’s second self-titled album was his first in English. Really, “Nega” is a silly love song, but Gil’s likeability is boundless, his voice open and joyous. Reissued by Water this spring, with a handful of live cuts, the album radiates good vibrations.