• Language Makes a Difference

    26. Sep. 2006, 14:12 von rumbero2004

    I was listening to Late Junction last night and heard Seu Jorge singing an "unplugged" version of Life On Mars? (Life On Mars?). If it had been in English, I would have thought: oh no, a simple cover version of Bowie. Because it was in Portuguese, I really listened to it and followed Seu Jorge's phrasing. Similaraly, Elegia, a version of poem by John Donne which alludes to conquering America, is made all the more fascinating for being sung seductively by a Brazilian in Portuguese.

    Conversely, when Latin American artists sing in English, it breaks the spell. For example, I like Juan Luis Guerra and find the lyrics to songs such as Carta de amor to be really charming and witty. July 19th, on the other hand, is in English and I find it totally crass. And Fernanda Porto is not a bad album until she starts singing in English.

    When I look at the tracks being listened to by the Latin Americans on Last.fm, I see they are full of British and US bands and wonder if the same applies to them. …