The first three solo albums from Os Mutantes singer Rita
Lee – all work that really follows in a great vibe from her key contributions to the Tropicalia scene! Build Up has Rita
stepping out as a sophisticated pop singer, almost in the way that Nico did on the Chelsea Girl album, after leaving the Velvet Underground. Arrangements have a weird twisted edge – as Rita
makes her way through a set of originals and a few covers, in an almost deadpan, ice-blond mode that reminds us of some of Jane Birkin's early work. Arrangements are by the great Rogerio Duprat, and titles include "Sucesso, Aqui Vou Eu", "Prisioneira Do Amor", "Hulla Hulla", "Tempo Nublado", "Precisamos De Irmaos", and "Calma" – plus a nice cover of "And I Love Him". On Hoje E Primeiro, Lee is clearly the star of the show – singing all lyrics with a much fiercer vocal approach than on her earlier solo album – pushing things hard to keep up with the jamming keyboards of Arnaldo Baptista and guitar of Sergio Dias – both of whom are working with the energy that would show up in the Mutantes styles in the years after Lee departed. One of the most compelling aspects of the record is the structure of the tunes – less conventionally rockish overall than the direction Os Mutantes were moving towards – and still with that strong dramatic flair that Lee always provided when in the group. Titles include "Vamos Tratar Da Saude", "Amor Branco E Preto", "Superficie Do Planeta", "Teimoisia", "Tapupukitipa", "Beija Me Amor", and "Frique Como". On Atras Do Porto, Lee hits a sort of space rock sound, with a weird set of materials that sort of mixes an early 70's space rock guitar sound with Wings-like production for a more pop feel. Our Portuguese is terrible, so we can't read the lyrics and get hip to the concept, but the inside cover has the band looking kind of like refugees from Spinal Tap or something. With the cuts "Tem Uma Cidade", "Menino Bonito", "Mame Natureza", and "Eclipse Do Cometa".