This opulent album opens with Dede Priscilla by Lea Lignanzi from Central Africa Republic, a most rhythmic and hypnotic lilting number with French exhortations to dance scattered in between the lovely sounds of the African language. The next number is by Mensy from Cameroun, somewhat more subdued than the previous, but equally hypnotic and engaging in its rhythmic textures.
Bolingo Mobesu by Vonga Aye from Zaire is a real sizzler with its soulful female vocal, male backing vocals and pulsating beats. Absolutely brilliant and ideal for the dancefloor. The next country is Mali, whence comes Menebo Nden by Moussa Doumbia. This one opens with wailing a capella vocals before the buoyant rhythms come in. It also contains the most beautiful instrumental flourishes and has an overall Middle Eastern flavour, especially in the vocal patterns.
The melodious Madeleina by Pablo Lubadika Porthos from Zaire is next, a flowing love ballad with a bittersweet feel. Then comes Jeff Louna from Congo with Paulina Mineure, a mid-tempo number that sounds the closest to a Western pop ballad. The album concludes with Yoyoyo by Asi Kapela from Zaire. Halfway through there is an interesting rhythmic break before all the instruments return in full force.
Every track on this gorgeous compilation is a pleasure to listen to. The songs are tuneful and most are highly uplifting and joyful. Please also investigate Volume I of Sounds d'Afrique, although I personally like this album more. Together these two albums demonstrate the richness and variety of African pop music in the early 1980s.