A smaller version of Fela Kuti's Egypt 80 band is currently fronted by the youngest son of the famed Afrobeat Creator. His name is Seun Kuti. Seun first played with Egypt 80 when he was 9 years old. But it is only now that Seun has released his first CD. And what a CD it is! This CD has everything that makes Afrobeat the unique style that it is: call and answer vocals, swirling hot rhythms, explosive horns and a certain repetitiveness that doesn't becomes irritating.
Here's my take on some of the songs. Many Things is an Afrobeat classic, if you can't get to like this song, you may give up on the genre altogether. Don't Give That **** to Me is the closest thing to Fela Kuti's music to have been recorded since his death. Fire Dance is a party song with some studio programming touches. Mosquito Song has a fantastic imitation of a mosquito's buzzing with the trumpet. African Problems is a song with a decidedly Caribbean feel. It's also the lyrical high point of the album. While Seun's Pidgin is pretty heavy (some of the lyrics are partly intelligible) in this last song his message comes out loud and clear.
The musical tradition of Fela Kuti is continued by his two sons. This is Classic Afrobeat with a contemporary touch, if you're into Afrobeat this is a must buy. The CD comes with a booklet with lyrics.
Julio Punch (Webmaster of The Shrine: The Unofficial Website for Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti and Afrobeat Music)
2 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
I first heard of and saw Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 at WOMAD festival two, maybe three years ago. He was headlining the last day of the festival and I thought okay, not sure what he has done to deserve this accolade. I have never been a big fan of Fela or Femi Kuti and have always found Fela's music a bit meandering and I lose interest quite quickly. The concert started and meandered along quite pleasantly as I had expected for the first 10 minutes. And then on came Seun (not sure where he'd been) - he swung his arm and the band kicked into overdrive. I was a fan from that moment.
The CD like the concert is exciting, driven, interesting, witty, amusing, ascerbic and cracks along at a hell of a pace. I am somone who buys a lot of CDs of all types, probably around 20 each month, but songs from this CD still hold the top 3 positions on the Most Played playlist on my i-pod (which has nearly 30.000 tunes on it) with another two tracks from this album lower down in that top 25. That doesn't include the times I play the CD itself in my car - I'll risk the speeding ticket. Buy this album. It's got the liveliest, sexiest, dirtiest brass sound you are ever likely to hear. I'm buying up Fela and Femi's stuff in the meanwhile, but I can't wait for the next Seun one. It was my favourite CD of 2008, and I can't think of one that I've loved as much in 2009. See him live if you can.
I'd really like to give this five stars. The reason I don't is simply that I'm still making my mind up just how good this album of Afro-Jazz with attitude is. I bought it on the strength of a live show at Paradiso Amsterdam and so far I think I've played it every day since! Enjoy then make sure you have his dad's stuff too.
One person found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?