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With its mix of seductive bossa nova grooves and winsome indie pop, Mosquitos’ III will instantly enthrall fans of the group’s self-titled 2002 debut and 2004’s Sunshine Barato, while surely attracting lots of newcomers to the trio’s sun-kissed sound. This time, the arrangements are more sophisticated and dreamily psychedelic, with lots of keyboards and synthesizer touches from programmer-producer Jon Marshall Smith. Gorgeous front-woman and Rio de Janeiro native Juju Stulbach offers the most beguiling vocal performances and emotionally revealing lyrics of her career. Along with original material co-written with guitarist-singer Chris Root, she reinvents Neil Young’s “A Man Needs a Maid,” from his classic Harvest, as a melancholy ballad sung in Portuguese.

Like most of III, that ingenious choice of cover is suffused with what the Brazilians call saudade, a word that defies literal translation but signifies a bittersweet sense of longing. Saudade gives even the breeziest bossa nova melodies a tinge of melancholy and makes them all the more entrancing. All of the tracks here have smart, sing-along arrangements that will draw you in and undercurrents of wistful feeling that will keep you listening raptly for a long time to come. III, you will discover, is also an engrossing soundtrack to a very real story.


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