Even great voices sometimes remain under the radar. Brazilian Renata Lú, at least, has hardly been heard of in these latitudes, as a solo artist at least. She has appeared as a background singer with colleagues such as Tim Maia, but her solo records from the 1970s have received less attention. Yet her blend of funk, soul and música popular brasileira, with which she performs on her self-titled debut from 1971, is a genuinely charming affair, especially because of her vocals. It’s almost a bit ironic how she counteracts a James Brown-inspired horn section drive in the first number, »Faz Tanto Tempo,« with her bright, rather soul-uncharacteristic voice. And whether it continues thereafter with agile string-laden arrangements or edgy brass combined with Latin percussion, Renata Lú’s juvenile, controlledly expressive way of singing always remains the center that holds the record together. When she does risk a »dirty« interjection in Portuguese at certain points, she shows that she has more register in reserve. A reminder of the early seventies that still sounded plenty like the sixties in many places. Fifty years of waiting hasn’t harmed the cause.