Ed Motta

Behind The Tea Chronicles

MPS Records • 2023

Is this Ed Motta’s best album yet? Whatever the case, it certainly has the chance of going down in history as his most ambitious and craziest. The first track, »Newsroom Customers«, kicks of strings, which is quite normal for Brazilian music, but not part of the basic set-up for Ed Motta, who wrote the arrangements himself. The harmonies, which seem to tumble away, have also long been typical of the heroic fighter for the reputation of AOR, Adult Oriented Rock—or even »Adult Oriented Rock?« On »Behind the Tea Chronicles«, he continues his celebration of the soulful and dignified in an expanded form after a five-year hiatus. With »Slumberland«, a tribute to Winsor McCay’s comic classic »Little Nemo in Slumberland«, he contributes an almost musical number, complete with a dreamy »ooooh-ooooh« backing chorus. Inspiration for the record came mainly from cinema and TV, with series like »Colombo« and »The Streets of San Francisco« serving as models, and George Cukor’s thriller »Gaslight«, to which he pays tribute with the groovy, playful song »Gaslighting Nancy«. »Of Good Strain« is reminiscent of Brecht-Weill songs, while »Buddy Longway« features an Americana-style guitar. Stylistically, influences from Steely Dan also find their way back onto the album on the laid-back shuffling piece »Shot in the Park«, complete with horns. You have to be grateful for all this. For every note. Every single one.