About the plagiarism on the album cover, you may be right. About them being a “crappy commercial byproduct”, I disagree.
Not talking about Sorriso Maroto specifically (I only heard one ydisk from them and only liked one song from that Album). When I went to Brazil this year (rubyconf.br) I found that most Brazilians attenders in the event disliked samba in general. When I asked whether someone liked bands like Casuarina or Fundo do Quintal (both great bands in my opinion), these bands received similar descriptions as the one you give for Sorriso Maroto.
So I guess this just confirms the adage: “nobody is prophet in his own land”.
Fundo de Quintal is a traditional, respected samba group. I guess most urban, middle-class, male, nerdy Brazilians (the stereotype of attendants at a programming conference) dislike all kinds of samba, but there is definitely a difference between what is called “roots” samba (respected musicians like Paulinho da Viola, check him out if you don’t know him) and pop pagode groups, which go for cliché beats and melodies and easy-listening love lyrics. That’s why I called them a crappy commercial byproduct of the genre.
Probably, but to be fair, they’re pretty generic album covers. There’s a good chance that both of them “plagiarise” or just happen to be very similar to a larger number of much older albums, if you look hard enough :D