If you happen to be a fan of the Academy Award-winning Uruguayan crooner Jorge Drexler, you’ll more than likely enjoy this debut album from São Paulo’s Leo Cavalcanti. The flowing melodies, percussive drive and Spanish-style guitar all bear similarities to Drexler, as do the constant changes in rhythms and instrumentation throughout the album.
This makes Religar an absorbing listen, changing pace drastically at times from the melodic pop of ‘Sem (Des)esperar’ and ‘A Tal da Paciencia’ to the more experimental ‘Ouvidos ao Mistério’ and ‘Dentro,’ reflecting some sort of kinship with the futuristic electro-pop of Cibelle. What lets the songs down at times are the lyrics, which can be prohibitively personal, as well as a tendency to over-use what is a terrific instrument – Cavalcanti’s voice. These are minor complaints, though, and this is a promising start from an artist with an ear for melody and the drive to explore some interesting musical terrains.