Te Amo Lá Fora
2021 • POP/R&B • Duda Beat
BEST NEW MUSIC
On her great second album, Brazilian singer Duda Beat delivers personal lyrics that mix well with a bold and culturally embracing sound.
Duda Beat’s second album, Te Amo Lá Fora, was recorded during 2020’s quarantine. Over the crafting process, Beat thought If she really should release it. “I thought about whether I should even release it because anything I say is insufficient in the face of such pain in the world. But I think that music, TV, cinema, art in general, find the gaps and reach us, even helping us to move on, to have hope for better days,” she told Metrópoles. But, although Beat’s two records, 2018’s Sinto Muito and Te Amo Lá Fora, are quite different, the essence of both of them remains the same. While her debut explores love more intensely, with an open, pulsating wound, her latest release shows the Brazilian singer more mature, singing about love with a down-to-earth vision.
Te Amo Lá Fora is Duda Beat’s best work so far. Produced by Lux Ferreira, Tomás Tróia, Patrick Laplan, and Pedro Starling, the album features a wide range of sounds and genres coming from all over Brazil, from Frevo and Forró to Maracatu and Coco. Alongside Brazilian singers Trevo and Cila do Coco, Beat explores her past and present concerning love, wondering what love really means and when love is worth the pain and the struggles. Playing with catchy hooks that talk pretty well with hip-hop bridgers, ballad verses, and futurist instrumentals, Duda delivers an ambitious project that is simultaneously bold, entertaining, personal, and embracing. In other words, Te Amo Lá Fora is clearly ahead of its time.
Te Amo Lá Fora starts off with Cila do Coco singing like she was our grandmother giving us advice. “No sereno tem gente que está roendo/Amanhã vai morrer do coração” (“In the serene there are people who are gnawing/Tomorrow they will die of the heart”), the 80 years-old Brazilian singer says while the instrumentation makes the songs feels like 50 years old. Then, the track evolves to a catchy-pop hit that mixes well the synthesizers on top of the rhythm of Coco de Roda e o Maracatu, two musical genres from Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. Beat sings, “Vou chorar, vou me acabar/Vou dançar e tu pode me olhar” (“I’ll cry, I’ll break down/I’ll dance and you can look at me”). Following the opener, while “Meu Pisêro” features detailed and mind-boggling synthesizers in the hook, “Mais Ninguém” gains charm thanks to well-made arrangements by trumpets and flutes.
Most of the tracks of the records are great, following the same pattern that was shown in the first seconds of the album. Beat delivers tracks that are catchy and modern but also culturally embracing, making several genres work together, in one place. “Nem Um Pouquinho,” with Brazilian rapper Trevo, is a nice and well-dosed duet. Working hip-hop beats with northeastern melodies and harmonies, Beat sings, “Porque sei que você não vale nem um pouquinho/Mas mesmo assim quero te dar o meu carinho” (“Cause I know you’re not worth a bit/But I still want to give you my love”). “Mas você me pisa e me faz de trampolim” (“But you step on me and make me a stepping stone”), Trevo responds. Furthermore, while “Melô de Ilusão” and “Decisão de Te Amar” sounds dreaming and atmospheric, “GAME” features the strongest and most prominent synthesizers, and “Meu Coração” uses a dark orchestra as the background of Beat’s promise of love.
“50 Meninas” and “Tocar Você” are Te Amo Lá Fora’s best songs. The first one is a multifaceted and energetic track that starts as a subtle and acoustic ballad, with Beat singing, “Tava pensando os dias que eu perdi/Pensando em você” (“I was thinking about the days I lost/Thinking about you”). However, suddenly, the track explodes in this great catalyst instrumentation composed of trombones, drums, and remixed voices. In the hook, the best in the entire record, she sings, “Eu já sabia que na sua fila tinha/Mais de 50 meninas, todas elas apaixonadas por você” (“I already knew that in your queue there were/More than 50 girls, all of them in love with you”). Over time, the track gets bigger and better. The second, by its turn, closes the record with a more experimental sound, mixing contemporary disco influences with industrial beats and pop synthetics. While she delivers one of the best sounds in the records, she also sings, “Eu não posso mais tocar você, nem beijar você/O meu amor ficou só comigo” (“I can’t touch you anymore, or kiss you/My love remained only with me”). It is in these specific bold moments that Duda shows herself as one of the most promising Brazilian artists today.
But, in the aftermath, Te Amo Lá Fora’s biggest mistake is its lack of self-conscience. It’s a great record, with great songs that mix the experimentation and underground aesthetic with the mainstream. However, the album seems to don’t understand its own power. Look at “≈(♡ω♡),” an interesting instrumental track that lasts only 50 seconds. If Beat understood that she could go even bolder, she would deliver an even better record. But, until then, she is still doing great.