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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fusion
Justin Adams is someone who understands African music enough to respect it properly, to the extent that, with Juldeh Camara playing the one-stringed African violin and singing all but one track, Adams feels like the junior partner.

However, his influence is very much in the rock 'n' roll rhythms of some of the tracks, but the strict pop-rock discipline he...
Published on 17 Jun 2008 by Martyn

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars seven strings and a percussionist
You wouldn't think you could do much musically with a tiny, single stringed instrument and, quite honestly, this disc proves the point. I bought this a year ago after it was nominated best album and one or two tracks were being endlessly played on radio 3, and convinced I must be wrong about it and the pundits at the BBC were right. I've played it several times, just...
Published on 18 April 2009 by ian russell


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fusion, 17 Jun 2008
By 
Martyn - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soul Science (Audio CD)
Justin Adams is someone who understands African music enough to respect it properly, to the extent that, with Juldeh Camara playing the one-stringed African violin and singing all but one track, Adams feels like the junior partner.

However, his influence is very much in the rock 'n' roll rhythms of some of the tracks, but the strict pop-rock discipline he brings to the music nevertheless allows Camara's mesmeric playing and singing enough freedom to really captivate the listener.

All the material is really strong, and although the 50s rock 'n' roll rhythm on the second track didn't personally appeal to me, i love all the other tracks.

My only real quibble is the fact that so much echo/reverb has been added to Camara's playing, which takes away some of the authenticity of the sound and constantly reminds you they're playing in a studio. one of the best things about African music is its life and spontaneity, and it just seems a shame they couldn't allow the instrument to do its work without artificially enhancing the sound so much.

Nevertheless, this album undoubtedly deserves its award of Radio 3 Crossover album of the year, and if you get the chance to see these guys live, i can't recommend them enough - that way you get to hear Camara the way he really should sound.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World blues, 20 Dec 2007
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CRB "CRB" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soul Science (Audio CD)
One of the best African blues albums out there and I say this despite the fact Justin Adams is from Bath, UK and I am a fervent admirer of Ali Farka Toure, Babacour Traore et al.You can hear the sand scraping away at the soul!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars seven strings and a percussionist, 18 April 2009
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This review is from: Soul Science (Audio CD)
You wouldn't think you could do much musically with a tiny, single stringed instrument and, quite honestly, this disc proves the point. I bought this a year ago after it was nominated best album and one or two tracks were being endlessly played on radio 3, and convinced I must be wrong about it and the pundits at the BBC were right. I've played it several times, just short of committing seppuku, and I'm still unconvinced.

With crossover or fusion, you hope to have a meaningful blend of styles making a new sound without totally losing the constituent styles. This sounds more like a battle, a duel between a Goliath and a David; a heavily amplified, fuzzy rock electric guitar and something which you'd be forgiven for believing fell out of a christmas cracker. Or something, perhaps, that belongs in the same box as the kazoo or the Swanee whistle. Okay, Ali Farka Toure used one but solo, I believe, and lamenting, and only on a couple of occasions which is probably for the best. A curiosity piece, a charming interlude. A whole album of it scratching away like a hound after a rather inaccessible, persistent flea is way too much, especially wrestling for elbow space against an amp that obviously went all the way up to no. 11.

The saving grace of this album hardly gets a mention - the percussionist. I liked him, he really held it together. Good man! Otherwise, one for the butterfly collectors and the emperor's tailors.

Btw, I haven't heard it played on the radio for a long, long time which says as much about the pundits as it does their five star album.
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Soul Science
Soul Science by Justin Adams (Audio CD - 2009)
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