Released: 19th August 2002.
To be honest, before I received this album, I'd never heard of Brazilian-born singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto. I've never particularly listened to any Latin-American music (I'm not a fan and this LP hasn't changed my mind), but I found "Tanto Tempo" quite a nice surprise.
It's not one of the more immediate records - to fully appreciate this album, it takes a few spins and you'll either like it or not. It's also not a pop/Brazilian record either. Creating a completely different atmosphere to all rivals around her, Gilberto's uncommerical relaxing sound is more like a Brazilian Beth Orton mixed in with a healthy dose of jazz and blues.
The most part of the LP has been recorded in Portuguese, although Bebel tries her hand at English on tracks like "So Nice (Summer Samba)" and "Close Your Eyes". Unsurprisingly, she sounds more natural in her native language, but no cultural barrier will stop Gilberto's soft, haunting vocals from entertaining your mind and drawing you in.
A large portion of the album is devoted to guitar-flavoured blues ballads - "Tanto Tempo" the best by far - but Gilberto is completely capable of making a track that'll get you up and move: "Bananeira", "Close Your Eyes" and "Sem Contancao" being three perfect examples.
My main negative comment I have is that the songs themselves are rather short, some lack structure and the songs just tend to roll into the next, but thankfully there's enough dance numbers to break up the laid-back ballad runs.
All in all, "Tanto Tempo" is a good album if you're looking for something completely different, something cruisy >and cultural.
Best track: "Bananeira"
Worst track: "Lonely"