Ty Burr
April 12, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Txai

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Milton Nascimento
genre
World

We gave it a B

Txai is the latest album from Brazilian superstar Milton Nascimento. Actually, it’s the latest half album, since he gives the other half over to voices that normally don’t find their way onto pop records. As both a cofounder of the Alliance of the Peoples of the Rainforest and a representative to the Brazilian congress on environmental issues, Nascimento was politically active back when Sting was singing ”Roxanne.” Here he opens the album to the rainforest peoples themselves, alternating his usual luxurious pop productions with stirring field recordings of chants and songs by the Waipai, Kaxinawa, and Surui tribes. Musically and conceptually, Txai wanders more than it should: While Nascimento’s ethereal falsetto is as lovely as ever on songs like ”Coisas da Vida,” ”Curi Curi” pulls actor River Phoenix out of nowhere to read dire ecological prophecies over an Indian flute solo. The music’s heart is strong, though, and the record ends exactly as it should — with the spine-tingling, untamable sounds of the Kayapo people trying to shout modernity away. B

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