Released as a surprise at midnight on New Year’s Day, Anavitória’s fourth studio album, Cor (Colour), is a celebration of love in all of its forms and colours. The surprise release, teased on the duo’s Instagram account, is typical of the band’s metaphorical and whimsical style – one which is present in all aspects of Cor.
Each track in the album received its own video ‘visualiser’, inviting listeners to dive deeper into each song to find layered meanings. Like the songs themselves, the accompanying videos seem simple and, at times, strange on the surface, but reveal a wonderful narrative for the individual listener to deconstruct as they run their course. The album’s cover, featuring both Ana and Vitória in a single yellow, blue and white jumper, is taken from the video for its opening track, titled ‘Amarelo, Azul e Branco’ (Yellow, Blue and White). A collaboration with legendary MPB singer Rita Lee, ‘Amarelo, Azul e Branco’ is a clever opener to the album, and gives Cor its own voice through the lyrics:
“Deixa eu me apresentar / Que eu acabei de chegar / Depois que me escutar / Você vai lembrar meu nome”
(“Let me introduce myself / Because I have just arrived / After you listen to me / You will remember my name”)
The track tries to be, at the same time, a personification of Cor introducing itself to listeners as a stand-alone album, as well as a love letter from Anavitória to their new work:
“E quando eu canto cor / Quando eu espalho cor / Eu conto a minha história”
(“And when I sing colour / When I spread colour / I tell my story”)
If all of this word-play wasn’t enough, Ana added through her Instagram that the fascination for things-in-threes present in ‘Amarelo, Azul e Branco’ is purposefully present throughout the album. For the duo, it was key to name the album Cor, as the three-letter word alludes to this being their third album of original songs, their group being composed of three people (Ana, Vitória and their manager Felipe Simas), and the number three representing a union between the body, the spirit and the mind.
Such pretentiousness in metaphor and meaning can be tiresome and seem to distract from the music itself. Still, the strength of the songwriting overshadows its flaws and you can’t help but enjoy all of its 48 minutes, regardless of whether you search or even care for these meanings.
Though the duo’s signature chill-style is still present through all of the songs in the album, Cor introduces a new page in Anavitória’s repertoire. Songs like ‘Eu sei quem é você’ (‘I know who you are) and ‘Terra’ (Earth) feature a stronger instrumental background and focus on heavier sounds, which is different for the duo. However, the softness of their vocals makes Cor feel like just another chapter of their book, rather than a completely new adventure. Having said that, the album does feel a little mismatched in places, with the abrupt endings to each song leaving listeners a little hesitant as to what may come next in this mix of genres and styles.
If you are willing to take the time to explore Cor and all of its clear and unclear meanings, the album presents a wonderful narrative of love in a variety of states and forms, with the songs willing to adapt and mould to your own feelings and experiences. But if you are listening solely for what the album has to offer at face-value, Cor is a refreshing collection of breezy tracks that can be enjoyed at any time, by almost anyone. Produced at the start of the pandemic and released as the year came to an end, Cor presents itself as a gift to Anavitória’s fans and gives their thousands of listeners a malleable soundtrack to carry with them through yet another unpredictable year.
Words by Sofia Ferreira Santos
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