April 10, 2011

Femi Kuti | Africa For Africa

ARTIST:  Femi Kuti
TITLE:  Africa For Africa
LABEL:  Knitting Factory
REVIEW:  48-year-old singer-songwriter-bandleader-saxophonist Femi Kuti is Fela’s eldest son.  He joined his father’s band as a teenager and founded his own band, Positive Force, in 1985.  While his earlier recordings season their Afrobeat with club beats, he’s gone for a back-to-basics approach on his last two albums, and to excellent effect.  This time he’s taken Positive Force all the way back to Lagos’ Decca Studios, where many of Fela’s greatest sessions were cut.  The band, always energetic, sounds especially aggressive this time – if there’s a punk-Afrobeat band, Positive Force is it.  In keeping with the environs, Femi’s lyrics are especially cutting and political, taking on the many of the same Nigerian institutions that plagued his father (and still haven’t been reformed).  This is Afrobeat for a rock audience – fast tempos, short songs (at least by Afrobeat standards), lots of energy, no remixes, everything sounds like a first take.  It’s a helluva good record.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
TOP TRACKS:    1    5    10    11
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    2    3    4    7    8    12    13

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