12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

What do you get when you put a Trinidadian/Canadian singer/songwriter in front of a band including Guyanese, Slovenian, and Jamaican players in a Belize studio? If you're lucky, you get Kobo Town's second album, on which bandleader Drew Gonsalves explores new routes for the sounds of his homeland. To call this madly careening stylistic journey "calypso" would be an oversimplification; while calypso's rolling rhythms, rich storytelling, and buoyant melodies are the kindling that feeds Kobo Town's fire, they're filtered through the lenses of everything from dancehall reggae to zouk and hip-hop. Although a life spent bouncing back and forth between Canada and Trinidad gave Gonsalves a unique slant on Caribbean sounds, he's also a dedicated wordsmith who claims the influence of St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott just as quickly as that of calypso king Lord Kitchener. The complex narratives he weaves on tunes like "The Trial of Henry Marshall" and "The War Between Is and Ought" are as lyrically dazzlingly as they are rhythmically irresistible.

EDITORS’ NOTES

What do you get when you put a Trinidadian/Canadian singer/songwriter in front of a band including Guyanese, Slovenian, and Jamaican players in a Belize studio? If you're lucky, you get Kobo Town's second album, on which bandleader Drew Gonsalves explores new routes for the sounds of his homeland. To call this madly careening stylistic journey "calypso" would be an oversimplification; while calypso's rolling rhythms, rich storytelling, and buoyant melodies are the kindling that feeds Kobo Town's fire, they're filtered through the lenses of everything from dancehall reggae to zouk and hip-hop. Although a life spent bouncing back and forth between Canada and Trinidad gave Gonsalves a unique slant on Caribbean sounds, he's also a dedicated wordsmith who claims the influence of St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott just as quickly as that of calypso king Lord Kitchener. The complex narratives he weaves on tunes like "The Trial of Henry Marshall" and "The War Between Is and Ought" are as lyrically dazzlingly as they are rhythmically irresistible.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
15 Ratings
15 Ratings

nice!

ains13

nice happy music

Sounds like summer

SweetJudyBluEyes

I just heard a review of the album on my NPR station, wrote down the name of the album on a napkin while driving, and went home to look them up! This is not the type of music I normally listen to but the lyrics are so varied, clever to poetic, and the music is well - just outstanding.

Too much Che Guevara, not enough Mighty Sparrow

Kimbang

I bought this album because the samples sounded so great. And the sound is quite tasty; rootsy yet electric, with trombone to die for. But the grad-school-rebel lyrics wear thin quickly. A pedantic ballad about a 75-year-old labor uprising in Trinidad? Really?

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