Hidden Treasures: Clube Da Esquina (1972, Milton Nascimento)

A beautifully composed album comes from somewhere you’d least expect it. Find out why this Portuguese album is a hidden treasure for you to discover.

Written by Blake Hall

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Clube Da Esquina (which translates to Home) is the number one proof that great music doesn’t have a language barrier.  One doesn’t need to understand a lick of Portuguese to love it (myself, for instance).  It’s a tragically underrated album (in America, at least) that explodes with rich musical nirvana.  The melodies are some of the greatest I’ve ever heard, heavily influenced by the great psychedelic pop bands of the 60’s such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Love.  It’s an experience that’s all about melancholic sunshine melodies, magical harmonies and Milton Nascimento’s heavenly voice.  It’s a masterfully executed double album with pure emotion, beauty and richness.

 

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“Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser” (Everything You Could Be) starts the album off with one of the most heavenly guitar riffs imaginable.  Milton comes in with a sweet warm voice.  The song sounds like pure joy.  I knew this album would be something special the moment I first heard this song.  “Cais” (Pier) is a nice little piece of melancholy.  “O Trem Azul” (The Blue Train) is an incredible piece of sunshine and one of the biggest highlights of the album.  It’s a song that evokes the sound of good friends, nature and a yearning for a life of simplicity.  “Saidas e Bandeiras No. 1” (Departures And Flags No. 1) is a fun little filler track with a cool bass groove.  “Nuvem Cigana” (Gypsy Cloud) is a personal favorite that never fails to take me to a magical place.  Such a great melody.  “Cravo E Canela” (Carnation And Cinnamon) is my favorite piece on the album.  The song is absurdly joyful and high spirited.  It takes me to an incredibly blissful place.

 

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“Dos Cruces” (Two Crosses) never stood out to me as a favorite but it’s a nice folk song.  Just not as melodically engaging as others on the album.  “Um Girassol da Cor do Seu Cabelo” (A Sunflower The Color Of Your Hair) is one of the albums highlights with it being a three part mini epic.  It starts off melancholic, turns into gothic horror for a minute and then concludes with a cool energetic melodic groove.  “San Vicente” (Saint Vincent) is a nice song with a cool build up.  “Estrela” (Stars) is a pleasant 30 second filler track.  “Clube Da Esquina No. 2” (Home No. 2) is just musical paradise.  The beauty evoked here is unreal.

 

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“Paisagem da Janela” (Landscape In The Window) is one of the most beautiful moments on the album.  It’s such a magnificent floaty melody and is just one of the most magical things I’ve ever heard.  “Me Deixa em Pas” (Leave Me Alone) is just lovely.  Can’t get enough of that piano piece that kicks in at the 1:20 mark.  And the way the opening groove kicks back in with more energy later is way too cool.  “Os Povos” (The People) has always stood out to me as a highlight.  There is something a bit haunting about this track.  Even though I have no idea what he’s singing about, it sounds intense.  The guitar melody is beyond excellent too.  “Saidas e Bandeiras No. 2 (Departures And Flags No. 2) reprises the filler track from earlier.  Still a super cool little bass groove.  “Um Gotso de Sol” (A Taste Of Sol) has never been one of my favorites but it’s still a nice little dreamy song that reprises a bit from “Cais”.

 

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“Pelo Amor de Deus (For The Love Of God) is one of my favorites due to its psychedelic nature.  Love how trippy and out there this one sounds.  “Lilia” is an absolute blast.  Sounds like pure musical nirvana.  Can’t get enough of grooving out to this one.  “Trem De Doido” (Train) is a groovy rocker with a rocking guitar that almost reminds me of Led Zeppelin.  Probably the most rocking song on the album.  “Nada Sera Como Antes” (Nothing Will Be As Before) is a great piece of melancholic pop that kind of reminds me of something The Beatles would do with the bouncy bass and Taxman-esque guitar riff.  Ao Que Vai Nascer (What Will Be Born) concludes the album with a melancholic folk tune.

 

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Clube Da Esquina is one of my most replayed and listened to albums.  It’s a near perfect double album.  Milton Nascimento’s angelic voice combined with the fantastic arrangements never fail to take me to beautiful places.  Anyone who loves psychedelic folk/pop cannot miss this.  I cannot recommend checking this bliss out enough.  It’s perfect listening for a lazy afternoon.

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