An artist who personifies the slickest, blandest aspects of modern MPB, Marina Lima has a fine voice, but has recorded one awful record after another. I am simply not her target audience. Nonetheless, here's a quick look at her work, with more reviews to follow...
Marina Lima "Simples Como Fogo" (Warner-Asylum, 1979) (LP)
(Produced by Gastao Lamounier)
Her debut album... and absolutely dreadful. Unlike many MPB stars, Marina didn't have that one or two magical, graceful albums at the start, followed by years of drek. Nope, she started out tacky, and stayed that way. What sets this disc apart is that many numbers are uptempo, apparently meant to be perky, or bouncy, or whatever... But the arrangements are awful, and the glossy, late-'70s instruments sound yucky and soulless as well. There are plenty of MPB "usual suspects" backing her up, including Lincoln Olivetti (who also did some of the arrangements) and guest appearances by ex-Mutante Sergio Dias and soul-rocker Arthur Verocai on one song. Yes, it's possible I'm being too crabby, but this really isn't my kinda music.
Marina Lima "Olhos Felizes" (Ariola, 1980)
Marina Lima "Certos Acordes" (Ariola, 1981)
Marina Lima "Desta Vida, Desta Arte" (Ariola, 1982)
Marina Lima "Fullgas" (Polygram, 1984)
Marina Lima "Todas" (Polygram, 1986)
Marina Lima "Todas Ao Vivo" (Polygram, 1986)
Marina Lima "Virgem" (Polygram, 1987)
Marina Lima "Proxima Parada" (Philips, 1989)
(Produced by Marina Lima & Carlos Martau)
Slick, tacky and effortless high-tech pop ballads that just seem so incredibly saccharine and false. Not to belittle Marina's fans, but the combination of the icky, '80s synth-and-soprano-sax arrangements and her listless, languid mooing is a real turn-off for me. Blechh.
Marina Lima "Marina Lima" (EMI-Odeon, 1991)
Marina Lima "O Chamado" (EMI-Odeon, 1994)
A bilingual Portuguese/English album of slick singer/songwriter-y pop, along the lines of Sarah McLaughlan, et al. Too drippy for my tastes, though Lima's vocals are much better on the tracks sung in Portuguese. (Re-released in the USA as A Tug On The Line.)
Marina Lima "A Tug On The Line" (Capitol/World Pacific, 1994)
The US version of O Chamado.
Marina Lima "Abrigo" (EMI-Odeon, 1995)
Marina Lima "Registros A Meia-Voz" (EMI-Brasil, 1996)
Boring, slick, technopop that wants desperately to sound like Sade, yet merely sounds slick and boring. A big part of the problem is her voice, which really isn't that compelling.
Marina Lima "Pierrot Do Brasil" (Polygram, 1998)
Marina Lima "1 Noite & 1/2" (Universal, 1999)
An album of remixes...
Marina Lima "Sissi Na Sua: Ao Vivo" (Universal, 2000)
Marina Lima "Setembro" (Abril, 2001)
Marina Lima "Acustico" (EMI, 2003)
A live performance recorded for the Brazilian MTV affiliate... It's pretty nice and relatively restrained, a more stripped-down and elegant version of Lima's soft-pop sound. This still isn't my cup of tea, but if you wanted to check her music out, this is where I would send you first. It's still a little bland, but nice.
Marina Lima "La Nos Primordios" (EMI, 2006)
Marina Lima "Climax" (2011)
Marina Lima "Minha Historia" (Philips, 1993)
This lackluster mid-'80s best-of reveals Lima at her least inspiring, a merely adequate vocalist hopelessly mired in the worst of early-'80s production. Drum machines, tinkling keyboard riffs and guitar riffs lifted directly from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" abound. Besides being a few years behind the times (typical for Brazilian pop at the time...) this has the added disadvantage of also hinting, dimly, at the dense trip-hoppish ballad style she would adopt later on. Can't say as I could recommend this to anyone.
Marina Lima "Total" (Universal, 1997)
Marina Lima "Novelas" (Som Livre, 2007)
Marina Lima "A Arte De Marina Lima" (Philips, 2004)
A truly godawful collection of some of Brazil's tackiest pop... I don't enjoy Lima's voice, and generally I don't like the arrangements... There are a few more acoustic, more understated tunes on here that are kind of okay, but really, these faint glimmers of tastefulness are hardly enough to make up for the punishingly bad quality of the rest of her work. Blech.
Marina Lima "I Love MPB" (Universal, 2004)
Marina Lima "Serie Sem Limite" (Universal, 2008)
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