Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Flipboard

Flipboard

Angélique Kidjo - Remain in Light Hour Music Album Reviews

Angélique Kidjo - Remain in Light Hour Music Album Reviews

Inspired by its Afrobeat underpinnings, the Beninese singer tackles an album-length cover of the Talking Heads’ 1980 landmark, in the process unearthing hidden rhythmic and emotional nuances.

Nearly 40 years on, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light remains a pinnacle of New York City rock, in part because it drew from anything but the strictures of rock‘n’roll. Instead it preferred cycling polyrhythms, mesmeric vamps, and dizzying layers and loops. But depending on which half of the band you asked, you might get a different answer as to its sources. For the rhythm section of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, the band’s newfound groove came courtesy of funk, R&B, and hip-hop (Frantz played drums on Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks”). But frontman David Byrne and producer Brian Eno traced the album’s inspirations to Afrobeat. It’s the latter that perked up the ears of Beninese icon Angélique Kidjo, who first encountered “Once in a Lifetime” in the early 1980s but never heard the entire album until 2016. “It might be rock‘n’roll, but there’s something African to it,” she recently told Rolling Stone about her first brush with the classic.

In taking these coastal art rockers’ nervy sound back to Africa, Kidjo also picked a pregnant moment to cover the album in its entirety: The nuclear pall of the early ’80s compares all too easily to our current predicament. Kidjo’s own track record makes her a natural for such a task, given her expansive vision of the continent’s music (to the point that she has often faced the asinine accusation that her music isn’t authentically “African”). And she has plenty of help here, from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Blood Orange’s Devonté Hynes, Kanye/Rihanna producer Jeff Bhasker, and the man whose cephalopod-like drumming originally inspired the album, Afrobeat legend Tony Allen. While she foregrounds the 1980 record’s latent paranoia, social disquiet, and political loathing, Kidjo also imparts a tactile sense of resilience to offset the original’s despair.

The ecstatic gush and worming electronics of “Born Under Punches” remain intact, right down to a glitch recreation of guest guitarist Adrian Belew’s arcade-on-the-fritz guitar solo from the Talking Heads recording. But it’s when Kidjo and her cohorts diverge from the source that the album’s headier moments arise. The band’s twitchy approximations of Nigerian pop polyrhythms on “Crosseyed and Painless” and “Houses in Motion” become more muscular and graceful with Allen himself behind the kit.

But the star of the set remains Kidjo. Her poised and powerful presence fleshes out nuances in Byrne’s lyrics that the precocious singer often seemed to approach cerebrally rather than feel viscerally. While he may have gleaned certain ideas about African iconography from Robert Farris Thompson’s 1979 study African Art in Motion, Kidjo has that tradition fully ingrained in her extensive body of work. As Byrne once put it to Thompson about “The Great Curve”: “You think that’s very down and earthy, but I was talking about something metaphysical.” Kidjo, on the other hand, transmogrifies the song’s refrain (“The world moves on a woman’s hips”) back to flesh and blood.

Kidjo also transforms the queasy ambience of the album’s last tracks into something resembling optimism. That dirge for a terrorist bomber, “Listening Wind,” might be the recast album’s defining moment. Against steadfast hand percussion, Kidjo assumes the role of the song’s protagonist, Mojique, while Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig sings backup in Kidjo’s native Fon. Their voices converge in the chorus into something that feels at once desperate yet emboldened, giving voice to that otherwise powerless protagonist.

Whether it’s a coincidence or a more concerted reckoning with patriarchy, this year in music is revealing a number of black (both African and African-American) female artists tackling canonical works by male musicians, many of them white men, and reframing and recasting those classic songs and albums in a manner that feels refreshing and revitalizing. Bettye LaVette breathed life into neglected numbers as well as well-worn standards from the Dylan songbook; Meshell Ndegeocello reimagined both Jam-Lewis and Prince classics so that they might be heard and felt anew. Kidjo finds her own way into these songs, infusing them with a tactile sense of empathy. Rather than echo the emptiness of a line like, “The center is missing/They question how the future lies,” her voice imparts a sense of hope, allowing in a brief glint of light.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Amazon Lord Of The Rings TV Show Latest News

Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series has been quiet on the news front for the past few months but we're starting to some details emerge for the highly anticipated show.
For most of the past decade, TV producers have been desperate to find ‘the next Game of Thrones’, and now Amazon apparently reckons it’s found it: Lord of the Rings.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review

A mid-range phone with triple rear cameras is a rare thing, especially at under £300 but the Galaxy A7 isn't an instant winner. Find out why in our full review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)? The Galaxy A7 is a decent choice for a mid-range phone if you're looking to spend less than £300. Highlights include an excellent screen, nice design and cameras you'd wouldn't expect to find.
However, unless you're going to use the wide-angle lens a lot there are some strong rivals out there like the Moto G7 Plus and Honor Play.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung's Galaxy S range has been updated and here we compare the S10e - the new 'lite' model - to last years' Galaxy S9 to help you decide which phone is best for you.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy S10e Or Samsung Galaxy S9?
The S10e could be the sleeper hit of this year. It doesn’t have the embedded fingerprint sensor of the S10 and S10 Plus or their triple cameras, but it comes with the same processors, new screen design, ultra-wide camera, and all in a compact and comfortable format with a smaller price-tag.
That being said, the S9 is still an excellent device, and its new, lower price makes it a definite bargain.

iHealth Core Review

This smart scale from iHealth offers detailed body composition measurements, from BMI to visceral fat rating. Find out what we think in our iHealth Core review.
Should I Buy The iHealth Core? We like the way that the Core and Lite scales interact with the other iHealth products, and the Core offers a bunch of useful metrics with which to monitor your health. Setup is easy and the app's graphs give a decent visual representation of your health-metric trends as you progress.

Like Fan Page