I (finally) saw the powerfully touching movie "Hotel Rwanda'" some months ago and was deeply affected by the true story depicted there.
Also moving was the accompanying music, particularly the music playing when a stream of refugees, including some nuns and orphans, raced into the hotel, as well as the song playing over the closing credits.
That convinced me to get the CD and after months of hunting, I finally got it this week.
It's actually filled with a diverse array of musical styles; from Rupert Gregson-Williams' two electronic instrumentals (with strings, slashing rock guitar over electro beats), orchestral pieces (the melancholic but beautiful "Finale"), and soulful dirges ("Nobody cares" by Deborah Cox, "Ne Me Laisse Pas Seule Ici (Don't Leave Me Here by Myself)" by Tilly Key, both lush, string swathed beauties).
The highlights are definitely the African songs; The catchy, upbeat South African bounce of "Umqombothi (African Beer)" by Yvonne Chaka Chaka (which was a massive radio hit in parts of Africa, up to West Africa in the late 80s), the two pieces by Afro Celt System, the haunting "Children found" by Andrea Guerra (with a children's chorus singing "Ni ryari izuba, Rizagaruka, Hejuru yacu, uzaricyeza translated "When will the sun return above us? Who will reveal it once again to us?"), and the acoustic (with minimal percussion) "Olugendo Lw'e Bulaya (The Journey to Europe)" by Bernard Kabanda, with rythmic guitar similar to what obtains in African Highlife music, or even Afro Cuban (acts like Orchestra Baobab or Buena Vista Social Club).
My favourite song, by far, is also (in my opinion) the best song that Wyclef Jean has ever done; "Million voices", which starts off with a children's chorus singing the same lyrics from "Children found", before launching into a midtempo lament for Rwanda, with lyrics asking why we can't have a United States of Africa, or a United Kingdom of Africa. Beautiful guitar solo at the end too. This was the song playing over the closing credits.
Presently, there is peace in Rwanda, with an attempt to right the wrongs and move on from the horror of 1994. This music (and movie) is a fitting memorial to the estimated 1 million lives lost then. Hopefully, one day, there will truly be a United States of Africa.