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New Dawn - Ku Khata

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Album Review

Mozambique borders on South Africa (although relations between the two countries have not always been peaceful), so it is not surprising that the music of Mozambique singer/songwriter Neco Novellas bears similarities to that of South Africa. The a cappella vocal harmonies that make up the lead-off title track of Novellas' second album, New Dawn: Ku Khata, could almost be by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the music at times recalls South African mbaqanga; any American familiar with Paul Simon's Graceland will feel at home listening to this album. At the same time, Novellas displays the influence of Bob Marley & the Wailers, particularly in the background vocals provided by his sisters, Cidelia and Isabel Novellas, and he even switches tempos several minutes into "Swile Navo — You've Got It All," turning to a reggae beat. The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, reflecting the long period of colonization, but in practice, many different languages are spoken in the country, and many are sung on this album, including English, though Novellas' accent makes comprehension difficult. The gist of the lyrics in English is provided in the CD booklet, revealing a poetic and philosophical tone to Novellas' message. But the real message is in the buoyant music, which gives a good account of an often-troubled country, even if the artist himself has long-since moved to Europe.


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Mozambican star Neco Novellas enjoyed fame and success on his native soil long before seeking training in European conservatories and quickly earning recognition on that continent as well. The story of Neco's musical success is one best told as a family portrait. Neco was raised in a house filled with music, both his parents active musicians. Alongside his two brothers and two sisters, Neco became familiar with classical music via church, jazz and pop via the radio, and traditional African ideas...
Full bio

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New Dawn - Ku Khata, Neco Novellas
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  • €9.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: 25 February 2008

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