Words by Russ Slater
On each of Lucas Santtana’s previous five albums there was a concept that the Brazilian singer-songwriter set himself, a way of creating some form of creative hand-rail with which to work. The God Who Devastates Also Cures is the first album where he does not refer to an underlying concept, and this seems to have freed up his creativity, resulting in a cosmopolitan pop album that is as ambitious as it is infectious.
Santtana’s calling card has always been his addiction to strong rhythms and ability to find affecting melodies, and this allows him plenty of freedom when it comes to the production and style of his music. There are dashes of samba, electro and reggae, but they are always taken into new territory, as on ‘É Sempre Bom Se Lembrar,’ which could have been a simple guitar-led samba but instead is caressed by strings into something far more interesting. There are hints of The Police in the falsetto vocals of ‘Jogos Madrugais’ and Sublime in the ska groove of ‘Se Pá Ska S.P.’, that hint at the album’s pop ambitions. These sit next to the far-reaching sounds of tecnobrega number ‘Ela É Belém’ and the brass-led ‘Vamos Andar Pela Cidade’, which fit into the tapestry of the album thanks to their shared ambition and melodiousness. Santtana’s nationality will always see his music described as Brazilian, but increasingly he has set himself apart as an artist no different to any other forward-thinking musician across the globe.