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Album Review

In the style made popular by King Sunny Ade, this album offers up a batch of lilting, soothing West African songs that range from traditional to original. Bandleader, producer, and lead vocalist Babatunde Garaya hails from northern Nigeria, while the other bandmembers and guest artists are from various parts of Africa. The album was actually recorded in California. It makes use of traditional West African instrumentation: guitars, conga, and plenty of brass instruments. The lyrics are all but unintelligible; they're sung in various African dialects. However, anyone who wants to know what a particular song is about can look at the brief description on the liner notes. For the most part, the subject matter is fairly light: "Mama de for Cumba" is about looking for pretty girls; "Chalatcha" is about partying. The album is a mixture of various styles including soukous, high-life, and what some people refer to as dancehall, though it sounds nothing like dancehall reggae (Barrington Levy, Beenie Man). It has a light, brisk yet relaxed sound comparable to calypso music. Fans of African music should enjoy this collaboration between many of the genre's best-known players and performers. ~ L. Katz, Rovi

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

African Rhythm Messengers is a group of musicians from around Africa that are based in Nigeria. Their music mixes such styles as Caribbean and reggae with African beats....
Full bio
Bottom Bellé, African Rhythm Messengers
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