A Long Way to the Beginning can be seen as Seun Kuti's first album as a solo artist. His first two offerings with Fela's Egypt 80 were an exercise in his father's Afrobeat. A test he passed without fail. Now, he brings us Seun's Afrobeat. Seun is a child of the 1980's and was influenced by different music than his father was. The result on A Long Way to the Beginning is definitely Afrobeat (could you imagine Egypt 80 playing anything else?) but it's a contemporary interpretation. There's rapping on several songs, vibraphone by a guest artist on others and the production values of the album are definitely those of the 21st Century (with a bow to Robert Glasper). Most of the songs on the album are straightforward Afrobeat, with "Kalakuta Boy" as a fine example. Two songs on the album that stand out are "Ohun Aiye" a cheerful Highlife song (Highlife is a musical style from Ghana, a precursor of Afrobeat). The other song is "Black Woman", this last song on the album may be the best. It's an soul/r'n'b like song about the hardships African woman have to endure. If you like Afrobeat or even contemporary black music in general this album is a no-brainer. I suggest you buy it now.
Aproximate running time: 45 minutes
Julio Punch (Webmaster of The Shrine: The Unofficial Website for Fela Kuti and Afrobeat Music)
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