The fourth Hyldon album, on which he’s backed once again by his trusted buddies Azymuth, just like on his previous three, is absolutely delightful even as certain aspects of it reveal the hard time he and the record industry had been continually giving each other in the wake of his hit 1975 debut album Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda and its associated singles. Being that Hyldon was often considered difficult and uncooperative by record executives, Sabor De Amor was his third consecutive album for a different label and came a full four years after his last album.
The Continental label’s budgets generally weren’t as big as Polygram’s or CBS’ (his two previous labels) and the slightly thinner mix and mastering of this album was due as much to this as to the gradual change into the ’80s. Hyldon’s songwriting here is as inspired as ever, though, and Azymuth—as always—come through in spectacular fashion, particularly on the samba-disco club anthem “Vem Dançar O Samba” and the short but devastatingly effective “Amor Na Terra Do Berimbau.” Elsewhere, opening track “Vadiagem” is a boogie-fied gem that could really benefit from a modern, beefed-up remix and there’s also the salsa-flavored “Cubana” and “São Conrado,” a spacey mid-tempo slow burner with vocal harmonies to die for.
Overall it’s simply a record that delivers above and beyond expectations. And while it could really benefit from a top-down remaster from the original tapes, the horror stories regarding Continental’s approach to tape storage don’t inspire confidence for a fully remastered reissue. Sabor De Amor has never been reissued in any physical format, although it did finally hit streaming services in 2022 as a vinyl rip. Regardless, Hyldon’s third album is easily one of the finest things he’s ever done, even before factoring in Azymuth’s involvement, which for many is all that requires mentioning to give it a chance.