added: 26 Jan 2014
// release date: 10 Feb 2014 // label: Because
reviewer: Andy Snipper
Back into the Funk wars!
Back in the day there was constant argument over the origins of the Funk. Was it James Brown’s invention of did Funkadelic pull it from the planet Funk? More importantly, was Afrobeat funky?
Keziah Jones has re-ignited the wars with an album of hard funk married to modern beats and proves once and for all that Afrobeat could be funky as hell. Damn, this is good stuff!
This all about modern Africa, specifically Lagos, and he tells stories that are fleshed out in the full length comic that completes this and is delivered with the CD but it also harks back to the beginnings of modern African culture (post-colonialism) that was so dear to his hero Fela Kuti (he actually met Fela in the year before his death and his influence if definitely felt if not heard).
Musically, this is clever stuff. He marries the hard funk of the west with some delightful percussive rhythms and a soft and high vocal style that counterpoints the music brilliantly. Little shimmering guitar licks drop in and out along with some complex harmonies and takes the listener up and down the slopes of the music with ease. When a percussive break comes in you definitely feel the sense of pausing for breath but all in a good way.
A superb album and a fine follow on from his acclaimed ‘Nigerian Wood’ of five years back. A modern African superstar in the making methinks.
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