Just the cost of the Mario Testino photo shoot for the sleeve of Bebel Gilberto's new self-titled disc (out Tuesday) would blow the entire recording budget for many artists. But that's chump change compared to the fees shelled out for Madonna producers Marius deVries and Guy Sigsworth and Kylie/Dido sound-fixer Pascal Gabriel, plus blocks of time at studios in Rio, London, New York and Salvador de Bahia. Clearly, money was no object in trying to turn this Brazilian upstart into a mega-selling global pop star, but instead of pushing ahead to create something exciting and new, all the resources are thrown at smoothing over Gilberto's already gentle sound. Her voice never rises above a soft purr, and all the cooing backing vocals and string sweetening turns the music to mush. Aural candy, sure, but this stuff makes my teeth ache.