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Construção album cover.png
Studio album by
LabelPhilips Records
ProducerRoberto Menescal
Chico Buarque chronology
Chico Buarque de Hollanda (Vol. 4)
Quando o carnaval chegar
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
Music Story5/5 stars[2]
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[2]

Construção is an acclaimed studio album recorded by the Brazilian musician Chico Buarque in 1971. Its title track was named the greatest Brazilian song of all time by Rolling Stone in 2009.[3]

Historical context[edit]

Construção signaled Buarque's fundamental artistic maturation, both in terms of musical composition and lyrical style, showcasing and transcending his mastery of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira/Popular Brazilian Music). In addition to its significant esthetic achievement, the album's implicit criticism of the ruling Brazilian military dictatorship was greeted by the regime's opponents as an important cultural and socio-political statement, released as it was during the dictatorship's most repressive period. Because Buarque couched his criticism in such melodic beauty and lyrical obliqueness, and because of its popularity, the regime—surprisingly—neither banned nor censored Construção.


Buarque expertly imbued Construção's ten songs with elements of diverse musical styles.

The first track, Deus lhe pague (God Bless You), was arranged with symphonic elements and rings with sardonic, barely veiled criticism of the government. Cotidiano (Daily), the second track, which chronicles the emotions and rituals in a day-in-the-life of a couple from the man's perspective, features a bluesy trumpet and is propelled by Afro-Brazilian percussion. Desalento (Discouragement), couched in a laid-back, bossa nova arrangement, is a confession of shortcomings and a plea for forgiveness, and is intentionally unspecific whether the context is personal or political. Construção (Construction), the fourth and title track, was arranged by Rogério Duprat, blending bossa nova, MPB, and symphonic musical styles with Afro-Brazilian rhythms to emphasize the dodecasyllable verses (lines with twelve syllables), each of which ends in a proparoxytone word (a word with the stress on the antepenultimate syllable); it is arguably the album's most emotionally powerful piece.

Cordão (Cord), the fifth track, is a defiant and uplifting bossa nova style declaration that opposes efforts to stifle an individual's creativity and freedom. The sixth track, Olha Maria (Look, Mary), is a beautiful and bittersweet tune recorded and performed with its cowriter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, as well as Lee Ritenour and Zimbo Trio. Buarque composed the gorgeous seventh track, Samba de Orly, with Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes, and it is infused with both saudade and cautious hopefulness for political change in—and possible return to—Brazil from the perspective of formal- and self-exiled politicians and artists, many of whom lived abroad during much of the military government's twenty-two years in power. With Valsinha (A Little Waltz), the album's eighth song, Buarque again teamed up with Vinicius de Moraes to compose a delicate love song of courtship with deep stylistic roots in Portuguese folk traditional music. The ninth track, Minha História (My Story), a translation of 4/3/1943, an Italian song written by Lucio Dalla the same year, provides a thematic interlude in the album's narrative with a tale of a poor Brazilian boy christened "Jesus" by his unmarried mother. The last and tenth track, Acalanto (Lullaby), wraps up the album with a gentle cradle song tinged with sadness.

Acclaim and legacy[edit]

Construção ranks Number 3 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 greatest Brazilian albums of all time.[4] The magazine also voted its title track as the greatest Brazilian song, stating that it "is still a reference to understand a thorny period of Brazilian society".[5] It also ranks Number 54 in the list of the 100 greatest records of the 20th century by German music magazine Spex.[6] On September 2012, it was elected by the audience of Radio Eldorado FM, of e of Caderno C2+Música (both the latter belong to newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo) as the sixth best Brazilian album ever.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Chico Buarque, except where noted.

Side one
1."Deus Lhe Pague"3:20
3."Desalento" (Chico Buarque, Vinicius de Moraes)2:50
Side two
6."Olha Maria" (Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Vinicius de Moraes)3:57
7."Samba de Orly" (Chico Buarque, Toquinho, Vinicius de Moraes)2:40
8."Valsinha" (Chico Buarque, Vinicius de Moraes)2:00
9."Minha História" (Adapted by Chico Buarque, written by Lucio Dalla, Paola Pallotino)3:05


Credits adapted from AllMusic and Construção's liner notes.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b "Construção - Chico Buarque". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Construção". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  3. ^ Internet (, AMDB. "Rolling Stone · Nº 1 - Construção". Rolling Stone (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  4. ^ "Os 100 maiores discos da Música Brasileira". Rolling Stone (in Portuguese). 13: 111. October 2007.
  5. ^ Cavalcanti, Paulo (2009). "As 100 Maiores Músicas Brasileiras -"Construção"". Rolling Stone Brasil (in Portuguese). Spring. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bomfim, Emanuel (7 September 2012). "'Ventura' é eleito o melhor disco brasileiro de todos os tempos". Combate Rock (in Portuguese). Grupo Estado. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  8. ^ Chico Buarque (1971). Construção (Media notes). Philips Records.

External links[edit]