I cannot think of a better way to usher in the new season of sunshine then welcoming Brazilian rockers Os Mutantes’ new album, Full Metal Jack. It’s been a solid four years since we heard anything from these trippy, heavy rockers and the new catalog is something to write home about. Energy flows from cover to cover and loud, pervasive tunage blasts your inner ear. I dare any listener to sit still while listening to Full Metal Jack.
There is no doubt Full Metal Jack is filled with passion. The Brazilian tradition of the band members shines not only with Portuguese lyrics but with atypical percussion and string elements which creatively induce a foreign feel, at least to my northern hemisphere ear. The instrumentation is raucous and indeed varied. Flutes, strings, various drums, vocal timbre, and psychedelic studio work make Full Metal Jack a truly unique creation. Thank you, Os Mutantes, for your creativity,
Albeit, the album is indeed a great piece of composition and creative in its own right. However, it may be a bit too off the wall and perhaps a bit too overdone. The songs are quite intense and include a variety of texture but the music is not very sophisticated. Nor are the words especially powerful. When I listen the twelve tracks I sense its very raw nature. There are many instances when the musical structure feels forced or manufactured, i.e “To Make it Beautiful.” Yet, in other instances, the group truly presents a melodic and easy listening tune like, “Eu Descrobi.”
Overall, the main criticism you may have with Full Metal Jack is its limited practicability. It remains to prove itself approachable as a single unit. Individual tracks do come through in the clutch, however, and render the album very listenable but as a critic I am personally still waiting for a cohesive and complete contemporary presentation from the Brazilian artists much like the work they have made in the past. Until then, however, if it is energy and a different timbre you are desperately looking for then Full Metal Jack, this new-age collection from a classic name is a great album to spin.