This is the 4th album of the petite Beninois singer and it transcends the category "world music" since all the fast numbers could fit easily and snugly in the dance music genre, thanks mainly to the slick production of Joe Galdo who also twiddled the knobs for Gloria Estefan's Miami Sound Machine. The result is a vibrant clubland mix of reggae, funk and African Beat with rattling, percolating percussion above which her highly distinctive voice soars and swirls. Most of the tracks were co-composed by Kidjo and her husband, the bassist Jean Hebrail. "Batonga", the opener is a foot-tapping dance track whilst the tender ballad "Logozo" gives her voice the chance to shine in all its glory. Accompanied by acoustic guitar, her voice also impresses highly on Miriam Makeba's "Malaika." A remix of the title track of her 1985 album "Ewa Ka Djo" is another floor-filler, as are the reggae-tinged "Kaleta"(lovely synth melody) and the complex "Eledjire" with its Nigerian polyrhythms. Angelique sings in French, Yoruba, Fon, Mina and Swahili and is assisted by Branford Marsalis and Manu Dibango on sax and Ray Lema on background vocals. Forget about techno, dance to this!
on 27 November 1999
Angelique Kidjo has one of those voices that exudes raw passion,seductiveness and sheer energy ! The production is excellent and her backing band are tight and effortlessly classy. Make no mistake, this album is a masterpiece. The music just grabs you , from the very first powerful track, 'Batonga' to the beautifully melodic traditional song 'Malika'. I played it to local Zimbabweans on a safari trip and they were knocked out by it.Angelique has rightly gone on to more success. It is a superb album. If you like African music, it is a must - get it !
on 8 March 2008
I first saw Angelique Perform in the town and country club in North London,on a cold,wet and windy winters day some years ago,and to say the performance was eenergetic is an understatement,she was Fabulous,performing the majority of this album bought it to life.the album is mostly upbeat and dance orientated ,although the title track"Logozq" is a brooding ballad with lovely sax playing,this is a reissue of the album that appeared on the Island Label label,and the reissue is well worth it,
Iremember the journey home to deep South East london was a lot happier for seeing Angelique perfom.