Pato Fu are one of the finest Brazilian alt-rock bands of the 1990s, an eclectic band worthy of comparison to the legendary Os Mutantes, on a variety of levels. Their records are consistently creative and engaging... and a lot of fun! Here's a quick peek...
Pato Fu "Rotomusic De Liquidicapfum" (Cogumelo, 1993)
Pato Fu "Gol De Quem?" (BMG-Ariola, 1995)
This alternative rock band hailing from the Minas Gerais has often been compared to Os Mutantes, and rightly so. On the surface, there's the matter of their lineup, which -- much like Mutantes -- was originally a trio consisting of two brothers (John and Ricardo Koctus) and a charismatic, carefree female singer (Fernanda Takai). More to the point is their freewheeling, mix'n'match musical approach, which gleefully (and somewhat self-consciously) careens from style to style. But where Os Mutantes melded hippie-era acid rock, boogie blues and prog with avantnik kitsch, Pato Fu hail from the MTV generation, with a palette that includes pop-punk, speedmetal-tinged alt-rock, ska, rap and disco-y electronica. In many ways, their ultra-diverse approach is too wanky and overly-obvious, but it's still kinda cool, and certainly more interesting than the more leaden, derivative heavy rock style of the BRockers of the 1980s. The restless, start-and-stop, ping-ponging between styles makes this disc a little dull, at least for those of us who want to hear a good pop song or two, but it certainly reveals a band that has a strong creative spirit. This album is more "out there" than their later work on BMG, an approach that has its plusses and minuses.
Pato Fu "Tem Mas Acabou" (BMG-Plug, 1996)
Their third album -- and their second for a major label -- shows Pato Fu still quite indulgent and knowingly clever, but also more willing to latch onto a strong melodic hook, and ride it all the way through -- they're getting more pop, and that's a good thing Finally, there are some songs that I'd want to listen to, from start to finish, and maybe even more than once. There's also plenty of wanky stuff that's theoretically entertaining, but not really that much fun to listen to... Still, this is interesting stuff, certainly worth checking out if you're interested in hearing what's been going on in the modern Brazilian rock scene...
Pato Fu "Televisao De Cachorro" (BMG-Plug, 1998)
This is a much more conventional, commercial alt-rock offering, with straightforward pop-punk and glossy pop tunes. It's doubtful I would listen to this disc if it were made by an American or British band, but hearing it from a Brazilian act is a little novel. This is a slick, controlled modern rock record, but it's also pretty easy on the ears. They've also relented and let Takai more of less take over as the lead vocalist, which is a fine decision, since she has a nice, friendly voice. There are still a few willfully irritating tunes, but overall this is a pretty accessible pop album. If you wanted a Pato Fu album you could actually sit down and listen to, this might be a good place to start.
Pato Fu "Isopor" (BMG-Plug, 1999)
Pato Fu "Ruido Rosa" (BMG, 2001)
Pato Fu "MTV Ao Vivo No Museu De Arte Da Pampulha" (BMG-Plug, 2002)
Pato Fu "Todo Cura De Toda Mal" (Sony, 2005)
Pato Fu "Daqui Pro Futuro" (Tratore, 2007)
Pato Fu "Arquivo Essencial (Box Set)" (BMG-Plug, 2004)
This simply-packaged set includes straight reissues of Pato Fu's first three albums for BMG Records: Gol de Quem, from 1995, 1996's Tem Mas Acabou, and Televisao de Cachorro, from 1998. No bonus tracks or extra goodies, but a nice way to check the band out. (All three albums are reviewed above.)
Pato Fu "Focus: O Essencial De Pato Fu" (BMG, 2001)
Fernanda Takai "Onde Brilhem Os Olhos Seus" (Deckdisc, 2008)
Fernanda Takai "Luz Negra - Ao Vivo" (Deckdisc, 2009)
Fernanda Takai "Luz Negra - Ao Vivo" (Optical Media, 2009) (DVD)
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