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Repórter Estrábico – Eurovisão

Repórter Estrábico - Eurovisão

CD, self-released(?), 2004

About bloody time but better late than never. “Eurovisão”, the long-awaited fifth full-length release by one of the most under-rated Portuguese electronic bands finally saw the light of the day. DCongrats to the band for going ahead with what seems to be an artist’s edition.
“Eurovisão” is certainly the most ‘Portuguese’ of Repórter Estrábico’s albums. Despite the obvious clin d’oeil to foreign cultural references and influences, the overall thematic and feeling of this album is very Portuguese but the band never loses their cosmopolitan posture. It is also a somewhat political album as well, in which the band takes an analytical look at the past and present condition of Portuguese society and point a critically accusing (but always satirical) finger at what they see, bringing it to the eye of the public. In a nutshell, “Eurovisão” is corrosive satire at its best, with a definite Surrealist or Dada attitude.
Lyrically, L. Barbosa (lead singer and lyricist) is, at his best: the lyrics in this album are intelligent and clever, satirical and words and concepts being juggled in a seemingly effortless manner. As referred, most songs have an overly social or political thematic. El Barbosa follows his distinctive vocal work pattern, whether in Portuguese or in perfect English.
Musically, “Eurovisão” is somewhat of a contrast to the previous album, “Mouse Music”, which was a very ‘pumps’ album, and goes beyond it. Keeping a bit of the ‘pumps’ character and still very-dance oriented, “Eurovisão” is musically more diverse adding more rock and experimental electronica references was well as a touch of ska here and there, being also more melodic than the previous release.
Many of the songs have dance-potential, especially songs like “Biltre!” and “Caracoroísmo”. Quite a few tracks are also worthy of mention in this album, from the insane medley that is the track “Eurovisão”, the surf opus “Charlie Don’t Surf”, “Velcro”. The fantastic “Sr. Arrumador” should definitely be mentioned as the song whose theme no foreigner will be able to understand, but that is a hilarious reference to an all-too-painful reality of daily life in this country.
There is also a multimedia track in this disc, featuring the video to the song “Biltre!”. A very good and interesting video, but its imagery and irony will be surely be lost in those that don’t have historical knowledge of Portugal in the early 80’s (A.D. and the post-revolutionary period). The video itself is somewhat reminiscent of Repórter Estrábico’s live performances, which are often memorable events.


— Miguel de Sousa

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