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Rita Braga — Time Warp Blues
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2021-03-31

Time Warp Blues Cover art

Rita Braga’s third album continues her experimentation with warped tunes, cheap vintage keyboards, and old drum machines. Her lead single, “Tremble Like a Ghost,” is an earworm that tunnels in and stays with you, with its gypsy violin and 20s/30s throwback cartoon vibe. And to add some spice to the music, in addition to singing in English on most of the songs, Rita throws in a couple of Portuguese, Finnish, and Japanese lyrics as well. Time Warp Blues takes you back to flapper days via The Residents and Petunia-Leibling MacPumpkin. And if that is not enough info to help you grasp the listening experience, some of the lyrics are as warped: “I was born out of an algorithm” from “Amore 002,” “I wrote a stupid song to show you right from wrong” from “Human Failure,” “The doctor says that my vision is fine, but my heart says I’m colorblind” from “Revelation,” and “Was I only dreaming you turned into a fish, then you swam away before I could eat you like a Portuguese sardine?” The sonic vortex of Rita’s twelve songs evokes different time periods in recent history, reminding the listener of our dystopian times. Interestingly, The Wire magazine rated Rita’s previous album Bird on the Moon as one of the “Top 15 Ukulele Albums,” and given Rita’s subtle and excellent ukulele playing on Time Warp Blues, her new album is a contender that may surpass Bird on the Moon. This new album is a joy to experience.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Rita Braga

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