For anyone fond of Cibelle's 2003 self-titled debut, a pleasant album of Brazilian downtempo typical of Six Degrees (a trendy worldbeat label based in San Fransisco with a Lonely Planet-like following), The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves is likely to generate a sense of surprise. It's a bold move in an indistinct direction, away from the broadly appealing samba-lite downbeat of her self-titled debut album and toward abstract soundscapes and poetics. It's a consciously artistic direction, for sure, and while her music is just as graceful as before, with her absolutely beautiful vocals in the forefront at all times, it's a more difficult approach to grasp, one that reveals itself steadily with each successive listen. After all, Cibelle had been an immediately appealing album, comprised of feel-good music that was difficult to dislike, much like Bebel Gilberto's beloved Tanto Tempo. On the other hand, The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves bares a resemblance to highly crafted, lulling, and ultimately enchanting — if a bit odd — recent critical favorites like Björk's Vespertine and Devendra Banhart's Cripple Crow (the latter artist is featured here on a duet performance of Caetano Veloso's "London London"). Half the album is sung in fluent English, and the songs build and swell with each passing minute rather than play out in a straightforward verse-chorus-verse fashion. The music is fascinating if you can appreciate the conception of such an album, one that credits three different producers (Apollo Nove, Mike Lindsay, Yann Arnaud) who each live in different countries and, for the most part, co-produce each track. Cibelle's ambition will be lost on some listeners, undoubtedly, especially those looking for some agreeably laid-back Brazilian beats tailor-made for globetrotting. Yet the artistry so evident on The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves should be a delightful surprise to those who enjoy their music heady as well as luscious, and with a literate, worldly edge.