A sweet overview of work from the second stretch of the career of Gilberto Gil – and a set that's worth it alone for two of the five
albums in the package! The set begins with Refazenda and Refavela – both fantastically funky albums that have Gilberto Gil hitting a soulful style that's very different than before – a mode that's more Jorge Ben than any of Gil's previous work – yet still with some of the sharper, more creative edges that always made him one of the leading lights of 70s MPB! Realce manages to capture a lot of the warmth and imagination of Gil's earlier work. The production's a little smooth in parts, but Gil's beautiful voice and guitar playing are still right out front, especially in some of the more stripped-down tracks. Raca Humana is pretty compelling stuff – almost a new wave album of sorts, recorded with lots of tight guitar work by producer Liminha, and plenty of catchy tunes that sparkle like some lost gems from early 80s radio. And Kayangandaya is a real surprise – an album of reggae tracks, mostly by Bob Marley, recorded in Kingston at the Tuff Gong Studios, with help from the Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Sly & Robbie, and others. The record's actually pretty nice – a good blend of the dub-heavy sounds of Jamaica, with some of the rougher soul stylings that Gil was crafting in earlier years – a combination that shouldn't work, but which does nicely.