Os Mutantes is a psychedelic band that hails from Brazil that emerged from the Tropicalia movement of the 1960's. The band was formed by the brothers Arnaldo Baptista (vocals, keyboards) and Sergio Dias (vocals, guitar). They also recruited Rita Lee (vocals, percussion) as lead singer. They have released many album over the years their most recent being in 2000 when their albums Technicolor and O A eo Z, two albums recorded in the 1970's, were finally released.
This album was their debut album released in 1968 and is by far their best album to date. There is just so much going on in each song, from the fuzzed out guitar sounds, the upbeat bass lines, and even the environmental sounds that seem to be a staple in every Brazilian artists music. The music is defiantly a clear mixture of true Brazilian "pop" music but with just such an intense psychedelic feel to it. You can really hear the influences that artists such as The Beach Boys and Pink Floyd had on them when you listen to the environmental sounds that they have playing in many of the songs, and how the songs go from very solemn and slow to very up beat and really pay homage to the Tropicalia movement that was going on around that time. The song "Baby" is one of the few songs that I had a hard time really getting into because it is such a change of gears from songs like "A Minha Menina" or "Bat Macumba" two of the really amazing songs on this record. Never the less, the song "Baby" is still a good song but it may be a little bit harder to find a hook on for the more psych-rock fans. Towards the end of the album you get to hear the influence the Beatles and the Beach Boys had on this album, and it is blatantly obvious because the music has a sound that has quite a "Beatles-ish" sound to it, such as the song "Senhor F". Don't get me wrong, that is not a band influence to work with, and these guys pull it off flawlessly, which makes the album so much better because you are getting all these different artists or in the case of this album, the way that Os Mutantes interpreted the music that bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys created.
The band has worked with a lot of different artists over the years and they continue to be a band that performs together and tours. Last year they played a few dates in cities like Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Miami. The band has also been a huge influence on a lot of musicians of this decade as well spanning everywhere from Beck and his tribute song to them "Tropicalia" to the front man of Of Montreal Kevin Barnes stating that Os Mutantes is one of his biggest influences. Granted this band had very limited success in their prime years, they still have played a pivotal part in the creation of some of the better music of this decade.