Review: JOÃO SELVA ‘NAVEGAR’ LP/CD (UNDERDOG) 5/5


On April 2nd pack your bags, strap on your life vest and get ready to sail the Black Atlantic with João Selva and his newest effort, Navegar. Selva’s hope with Navegar is to encourage, well, hope. Inspired by a road trip through Brazil in 2019 in which he was struck by the hopelessness he kept encountering, Selva wanted to create something that would help people get through the tough times. While Brazil has a particularly precarious political situation, many of us all over the world can relate. There has been little room for hope over the last year especially, but with the light at the end of the tunnel slowly coming into view, Selva’s Navegar has arrived right on time. The flute of the opening track Navegar encourages us to keep pushing forward toward that light with Selva himself acting as a Pied Piper of sorts, intoxicating his listeners with promises of joy and communal celestial experiences.

Navegar is the perfect blend of that 60’s tropicalismo sound mixed with a little funk and a whole lotta soul. It is an ode to Creoleness, meant to accompany us as a musical travelogue, to detail our experience journeying on his sea of positivity. As so many of us are just itching to move, Selva’s Brazilian nomadic spirit steers us along that mythical Black Atlantic, the place that connects Black cultural creation. Selva hopes our travels through the Black Atlantic will inspire both resilience and tolerance, that our bodies will be so busy moving they will leave behind the dark times and bring forth the light.

Navegar accomplishes its goal of being that North Star guiding us back to happiness and hope. It has a sexy playfulness that promises to lighten the mood. Selva’s voice weaves its way through your ears creating a world full of magic, of possibility and just plain fun. Cadê Você is sexy and smooth, it’s funky and perfect for the lengthening of days, encouraging you to sit outside, and dance along with the setting sun. Tudo Vai Dar Pé and Camará sing for a better future while denouncing the tyranny of the current president. And importantly Navegar is full of love, in both a carnal and universal way with songs like Meu Mano. Join Selva on his journey, I promise you’ll be glad you did.

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