on 8 July 2012
I first heard a track from He is #1 on BBC 6 Music, and was amazed and excited to hear music in Chichewa (the main language of Malawi) being played on the radio in the U.K. I was even more pleased to be able to buy the album on Amazon. The story of how the musicians were 'discovered' and helped to record the album is inspiring; I do hope that they are seeing the profits from the sale of the album. I admit that I would probably not buy an album with such a strong religious theme that was sung in English. However, I love the sound of the Chichewa language but only have limited understanding of it, so I love listening to and bopping along to the tunes on He is #1. My current favourite track is "Ndaimirila (Stand By)", mainly because it sounds so positive and has a great melody. I would recommend the album to people who like world music, undiscovered talent, and of course to anyone who has ever been to Malawi.
on 17 June 2012
Love it, love it, love it! What a joy to hear music in the raw - we get so little of it these days.
There is, however, always a pang of guilt when some innocent soul is catapulted into the global music scene; I hope Ian Brennan will work hard to take care of the boys. This could be a great opportunity for them & their community, but, if not properly handled, it could also be very destructive.
No doubt though, the music is simply wonderful. Do watch the Youtube clip - incredible talent & inventive instruments! [...]
on 30 July 2013
I saw these at WOMAD at the weekend - both for the recording of BBC R4's Loose Ends programme and again performing a set. They are amazing. Like one of the other reviewers, I may not have bought it if sung in English due to the religious content but the CD is exquisite. I also hope that the group recieve some benefit for their work and that they go on to produce more of this unique work. I hope they also are protected from exploitation in the Western World.
on 18 September 2013
I don't usually purchase World music, but after seeing the clip of these guys on Youtube I decided to buy the album. Apart from their inspirational back story, it is refreshing to hear an album of real people playing real instruments without overproduction. Listening to this, it is like almost being there live. The singing is good, and backed up with bouncy, uplifting music that kind of has a reggae feel. Overall, an enjoyable, original album.