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Rocking Eternally

Kofi

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Album Review

Though not terribly well known in the U.S., Kofi has had a steady trickle of reggae hits in England since the demise of her original group, Brown Sugar, in the 1980s. Most of her hits stem from her work with London producer Mad Professor at his Ariwa studio, which has been ground zero for the "lovers rock" style of reggae since its earliest days. But on Rocking Eternally she teams up with the equally well-regarded production team of Mafia & Fluxy, and although their sound is subtly different from Mad Professor's (most notably in its near absence of crazy dubwise flourishes), they still know how to provide the balance of digital smoothness and warm approachability that a voice like Kofi's needs. And her voice is still just as sweet and sexy as it was 25 years ago: on tracks like the brilliant "Knowing U, Knowing Me" and the particularly bedroomy "Give U Up, Never" she sounds simultaneously worldly and sweetly innocent — a killer combination. On "Ability to Love," the producers nicely offset rather syrupy strings with an unusually rock-hard rhythm, and "Life Time Thing" is marred only by a painfully out of tune flute. Do all the tracks sound the same? Pretty much, yes, even by reggae's generous standards. But the pleasure of lovers rock is that it all sounds pretty much the same, which means that it's all equally useful for its intended purpose — and no one sings this style of reggae better than Kofi.

Biography

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

British reggae singer Kofi first worked with the trio Brown Sugar (with Pauline Catlin and Soul II Soul vocalist Caron Wheeler). Her first solo single was "Place in the Sun." Later she released an album on Mad Professor's Ariwa Records, Black...With Sugar. "Proud of Mandela," a remake of a song from...
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Rocking Eternally, Kofi
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