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Raca Negra portrait Well, I guess you can count me among those samba fans who find Raca Negra's version of the "samabalenco" pop-samba sound to be of dubious merit. One of the legions of generic, prefab Bahian samba bands of the 1990s, Raca Negra had a particularly poppy sound -- the kind of thing that bombarded the radio waves, thrilled fans, and brought many critics among those who lamented the dilution of the roots-samba and Carnaval traditions it was built on. You'll have to make up your own mind: here's quick look at the band's work...


Raca Negra "Raca Negra, v.1 (Quero Ver Voce Chorar)" (RGE, 1991)
Although they look like they'd be a thunderous percussion-based samba band, like Timbalada or Olodum, this is actually a remarkably wimpy, wispy pop album, with airy male vocals and an abundance of cheesy keyboard riffs. Yes, the drums are there as well, but they are safely buried in the mix, barely there to lend a faint hint of Afro-anything to this otherwise bland pop offering. You're not missing much here.

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 2 (Pensando Em Voce)" (RGE, 1992)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 3" (RGE, 1992)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 4 (Tempo Perdido)" (RGE, 1993)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 5 (Seu Amor Ja Terminou)" (RGE, 1994)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 6 (E Disso Que Eu Preciso)" (RGE, 1995)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 7" (RGE/Som Livre, 1996)
Sappy, synth-heavy "samabalenco" pop... not unbearable or icky, just kind of nondescript. This is more or less a watered-down, non-bootyshaking modernization of Jorge Ben's classic acoustic samba-pop style. Innocuous, but also unengaging.

Raca Negra "Ao Vivo" (RGE, 1996)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra 8" (RGE, 1997)

Raca Negra "Banda Raca Negra 9" (RGE, 1998)
Another bloodless samba-pop set. Admittedly, this is pretty late in the game for these guys (they started in the '80s, and had their first hit in 1992...) but still, the synth-and-flutes arrangements are pretty tacky. Dismal pop radio fare.

Raca Negra "Ao Vivo" (Universal, 1999)

Raca Negra "Vem Pra Vicar" (Universal, 2000)

Raca Negra "Raca Negra" (Universal, 2001)

Raca Negra "Me Leva Junto Com Voce" (Universal, 2004)

Raca Negra "Ao Vivo" (Universal, 2005)

Raca Negra "A Vida Por Um Beijo" (Universal, 2006)


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