Not that it’s a battle with brother Femi, but both Fela offspring have albums out that moment and Seun is just tipping it as the one to get.
As Gilles Peterson keeps saying that Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80 was the best live band he saw last year at the Jazz Caf?© but can the son of Afrobeat pull it off on CD?
From the first notes of ‘Think Afrika’ you know that they can. His voice is like a throatier version of Dad/brother Femi but the inclinations are the same, the lyrical message is the same and the band is equally as spot on.
Read the song titles out loud and feel where these guys have come from and are going to. Especially the longest track, ‘Don’t Give That Shit To Me’ is typically in your face (not only lyrically but on the horn front also). It’s one of two not written by Seun; the other track not from Seun’s pen is the last track, ‘African Problems’ by Lekan Animashaun that’s got the naivety of a Jimmy Pursey message but there’s nuthin’ wrong with that my son.
The title track is the one the Gilles P picked up on and for James Brown influences? ‘Na Oil’ is the one for that.
Like the 13 Faces Of Lightning Head this is hard. The high tempo ‘Fire Dance’ is the killer track as it’s like steppin’ on hot coals; but not as fast as ‘Mosquito Song’ (what an intro!)
And this is a killer album cover, both sides; currently favourite of the year.
Whilst there’s still many things wrong in Africa (and the rest of the world for that matter), there’s nothing wrong with Seun Kuti & Fela‘s Egypt 80 or Many Things. No reservations recommending this one, all excellent.
Reviewed: Seun Kuti + Fela’s Egypt 80 – Many Things (T?¥t Ou Tard) Cat. No: 8345 10585 2 Release date: 24 June 2008
Credits: Artwork by Seb Marlet, Gros & Details
Photography – Youri Lenquette
Backing Vocals – Bolande Kamson, Lyabo Adeniran, Moturayo Anikulapo Kuti
Bass – Kayode Kuti
Congas & Giant Konga – Kola Onasanya
Drums – Ajayi Raimi Adebiyi
Guitar – Alade Oluwagbemiga, David Obanyedo
Keyboards – Kunle Justice
Lead Vocals, Saxophone [Alto], Organ – Seun Anikulapo Kuti
Saxophone [Alto] – Lekan Animashun (Baba Ani)
Saxophone [Baritone] – Adedimeji Fagbemi (Showboy)
Saxophone [Tenor] – Oyinade Adeniran
Trumpet – Emmanuel Kunnuji, Olugbade Okunade
Percussion – Chief Udoh Essiet, Dele Olayinka, Wale Toriola
Executive Producers – Martin Meissonnier & Seun Anikulapo Kuti
Notes: Recorded in Lagos Nigeria at Eko Studio Ikeja in October 2006. Mixed at Studio Davout & Studio 4 Montreuil France
1 Think Africa (6:49)
2 Don’t Give That Shit To Me (9:21)
3 Many Things (8:01)
4 Fire Dance (8:09)
5 Mosquito Song (7:23)
6 Na Oil (8:09)
7 African Problems (5:01)